The moves represent a huge expansion for the American burger chain. Wendy’s and Sierra Nevada currently operate four brick-and-mortar restaurants and five cloud kitchens in India.
Growth in India has been slow for Wendy’s, which entered the market in 2015, according to Satish Meena, analyst with market research firm Forrester.
“Wendy’s wants to use the multiplier effect of cloud kitchens and physical restaurants to tap into the Indian market,” Meena said.
Wendy’s said partnering with Rebel Foods will help grow its business in India through digital innovation.
Cloud kitchens — also known as ghost kitchens or dark kitchens — are facilities that produce food solely for home delivery. Because they don’t need to attract passing dine-in customers, they are often located in buildings that charge lower rents than restaurants.
The global cloud kitchen market will be worth an estimated $71.4 billion by 2027, growing 12% from 2021 to 2027, according to a report published last month by market research firm Valuates Reports.