Cozinha Simples: “We were born digital and focused on delivery”

An iFood partner since the first day of operation, Cozinha Simples, a network of dark kitchens, was born digital and focused on delivery. Discover this story!

Monitoring business trends in food was one of the daily tasks of Alan Pedroso, 31, from São Paulo, when he worked at an investment fund. It didn't take long, therefore, for the global growth of delivery to fall on their radar. “Delivery penetration was increasing in China and India. It was clear that one day the same would happen here, because the desire for convenience was becoming stronger in Latin America”, says Alan.

When the fund he worked for joined forces with another to buy a food company, he met his partner, André Piva, 35 years old. Together, they took charge of operations and professionalized this network – which grew eight times in two years. And in 2019, they began to nurture the dream of having their own business: kitchens designed to serve only delivery – also called dark kitchens.

“We already had a strategic vision and operational knowledge of all the important areas for a food company, such as training, process standardization, logistics chain and suppliers. Furthermore, we knew the best store model for accelerated expansion”, recalls Alan.

This is how the idea for Cozinha Simples was born, a chain of multi-brand dark kitchens that delivers a variety of cuisines to serve the public from breakfast to dinner. “From the beginning, our focus has been convenience and bringing maximum efficiency and quality to the operation.”

One of the chain's kitchens, in Higienópolis, central region of São Paulo (SP)

In addition to its own operations with different brands, such as Burguer Simples, Salada Simples and PF Simples, the company rents kitchens to restaurants and industries. Now it is also preparing to explore the white label segment with other food companies.

Focus on delivery

The focus on delivery is a strategy to improve both the efficiency of the operation and the experience of the consumer at home. “Delivery was never considered a priority, but the salon. But the service profile and processes are different. To get the best out of each person, it is recommended that these worlds do not mix”, says Alan.

In February 2020, the two partners left their jobs and decided to jump into the new business. Two weeks later, the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Brazil. “In the beginning, it was more difficult, because the uncertainties hampered the bureaucratic part of notary and licenses and also the construction of the units”, says the entrepreneur. “It took longer to resolve behind-the-scenes issues.”

After the initial difficulty, the pandemic and social isolation scenario ended up boosting the new business. “Delivery is no longer a trend and has become a de facto habit. We had an acceleration that we would not have had at any other time”, says Alan. “I'm from the interior of São Paulo and I never imagined that my uncles would use an app on Saturday night to order a pizza instead of going somewhere to eat.”

Partnership with iFood

Partner of iFood Since Cozinha Simples' first day of operation, Alan says that being on the platform brought him more peace of mind to face the risks of the first year. “When you decide to undertake a business, you take on many risks at the same time. Entering the market through iFood minimized the risk because we knew that the greatest demand would come from the app.”

Having the support of an iFood account manager, who provides data and insights into the average ticket, demand and opportunities in each region of São Paulo, was also essential for the growth of the new business. “We understood what type of cuisine was missing in each region so we could explore these new opportunities.”

According to Alan, the Solidarity Transfer – advances on receivables without charging fees that were in effect from March 2020 to July 2021 – was another essential point for the company's growth. “This helped us not only to have cash flow on a daily basis, but also to have working capital to expand faster”, says Alan. “We were able to grow more calmly with the extra cash that iFood provided.”

In the first ten months of operation, Cozinha Simples grew at an accelerated pace: the first unit and the initial three virtual stores soon became four units and 17 virtual stores. “The penetration of delivery into food service was accelerated by the pandemic. When it passes, growth rates may be lower, but they will continue to grow”, says the entrepreneur.

The expansion plans continue: after exploring the capital and the interior of São Paulo, the partners also intend to establish themselves in other states, both with their own brands and with licensed ones. “The delivery market has become more professional in terms of safety and quality. The next frontier is to be more efficient in delivery. The day will come when it will be normal to receive food at home in less than 30 minutes.”


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