COOKHOUSE: How cloud kitchen will change the face of the industry

Set the Tables
“The people in the F&B industry are very passionate about wanting to share their craft. In this line of business, it’s not necessarily just about the money, I really want to see food businesses thrive, and to feed that passion for bringing people together.” – Su San, founder of COOKHOUSE

“It is all about how we can help new businesses or existing businesses, whether it’s gaining better margins or operating within the margins, and also tackle this whole new delivery market segment.” A food enthusiast herself, Huen Su San launched COOKHOUSE with the ambitious dream of building an ecosystem that brings a community of foodpreneurs together. Here, Su San shares how COOKHOUSE, one of Malaysia’s first and fastest growing cloud kitchens and co-working space, works and what it takes to thrive in this competitive industry.

I started in F&B five years ago venturing into Korean food. Currently, Beyond Korea Dining Group and Glasshouse at Seputeh have 8 outlets and 2 Central kitchens. While I was building up the business, I realized that the investment that’s required to set up industrial kitchens are pretty high. At the same time, I also observed that food delivery was getting more and more popular. 

We are trying to build an ecosystem where it will actually flatten the learning curve for new entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses faster. The F&B industry is a very competitive market with very thin margins. I empathize when F&B businesses are not doing well. At COOKHOUSE, we can actually assist them in these ways: 

Lessen Barrier to Entry

Cloud kitchens are a more efficient way to reach the delivery markets, bringing costs down. If you wanted to set up a kitchen, whether it is a brick and mortar shop, a for delivery service, or purely operating from a Central Kitchen, you would have to fork out a large investment sum for renovations and equipment. 

Set the Tables
“You can start cooking and selling from Day 1 and just pay rent instead of the burden of owning the equipment that makes you asset-heavy.” – Su San, COOKHOUSE


If somebody starts a business from home, they don’t have the commercial license that’s required and food delivery services, or even customers might be hesitant to try. COOKHOUSE is a licensed facility. We take care of all the maintenance right up to the pest control. 


We are able to assist in getting better prices on ingredients because of bulk purchasing. We also work with complementary partners, like Mr. Speedy for logistics, Food Market Hub for inventory management software that allows you to order ingredients online and take care of your costing calculations. Normally, an annual fee will be charged per year but with residency here, you can use it for free to manage your inventory. 


You are joining a community of like-minded people where residents can exchange concepts. I am also very hands-on in working with the residents to grow their brands, communicating through Whatsapp or whenever I am here at COOKHOUSE. We also have in-house services for marketing, videoshoots, photoshoots, and menu styling.

Halo Doughnut is our first resident at COOKHOUSE PJS3, Petaling Jaya. Different types of residents coming in for different reasons. Some come in here to use this place as a mini Central Kitchen. Some are currently doing R&D on their menu. We have people who are in different junctures of their business growth and the residents help each other out. The minimum capital starts at RM900 per month per pack inclusive of utilities. More on COOKHOUSE shared kitchen solutions. 

Event Space 

We host our own events like for team building exercises, we also rent out the space for kids or family parties. We also rent the space out to people who might want to host classes, videoshoots, cooking competitions, product launches. 

We took nearly a year to plan this project. I believed that if we created something of value, then it would be a sustainable business. Building COOKHOUSE is to provide value to the food entrepreneurs. 

The delivery market is here to stay. It’s something that I think food businesses need to brace for and accept. The landscape is changing and there’s a lot of things that food businesses need to accommodate for:

  1. Finding the kind of packaging that actually delivers well
  2. A customer’s first impressions – packaging and plating 
  3. How do you ensure your food gets to the customers tasting good. 
  4. Flexibility – you can have one cloud kitchen operating on four different cuisines: Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Western but you could be the same cook. 
  5. Buying experience – As food delivery markets grow, people need to find ways to make their buying experience more personal
  6. Make an impression on the customer 

When people come into COOKHOUSE,

their success story is also a COOKHOUSE success story 

Cloud kitchens can be both an expansion strategy or market entry strategy. For people who are considering, it’s important that they know the reasons why they’re doing it. Having clarity in what they are selling and who they are trying to reach so that they would be able to map out the costs, what’s needed, and compare that to the value a cloud kitchen can offer in comparison to launching from a traditional way. And also to be aware of the adjustments that need to be made. In a co-working space, there will be people from other brands. Some may have particular personal preferences. They need to know the reasons why they’re doing it and weigh the advantages against the disadvantages.

Set the Tables
COOKHOUSE will be launching four new locations in 2021.

My way of staying ahead will be to always continue listening to my clients and the residents here. Observing what is happening in the market aids continuous growth and improvements in terms of services, operations, and even the actual infrastructure.

I think this pandemic taught me to not stop – just keep going. I truly believe that when there is a problem, just do whatever you can to overcome what is immediately in front of you,  followed by the next step, and later on, you’ll find that the path will clear. I think problems start when people stop or give up. Many of the residents started their businesses during the pandemic. There are always new trends in this industry, you just have to keep adapting to remain relevant in the market. COOKHOUSE will be launching four new locations in 2021. 

Cloud kitchens can be both an expansion strategy or market entry strategy.


Images credit: COOKHOUSE. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Interview and written by Theri B. Edited by Lim Aileen.

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