Blog / August 26, 2022

CloudKitchens customer spotlight: Cali BBQ

BBQ and media brand, Cali BBQ, has been in business for 15 years in the San Diego metropolitan area. Owner and founder, Shawn Walchef, saw a need for delivering slow food fast. From this, Cali BBQ was born. Featuring a wide variety of classic slow cooked BBQ dishes on their menu, such as Tri-Tip, BBQ Ribs, Brisket, and Pulled Pork, Cali BBQ has become a local favorite in Southern California for years. They smoke slow BBQ every day, to ensure each order is made fresh. 

With their longstanding brick-and-mortar business, Cali BBQ was eager to explore more options to grow their brand through delivery. Before Cali BBQ partnered with CloudKitchens, they struggled to find the best delivery solution for their business. As they saw the demand for food delivery rise during the pandemic, they knew they needed to adapt to a delivery-first mindset in order to stay ahead of the competition. Shawn needed a lower cost alternative, to allow his restaurant business to thrive during the pandemic and to get his delicious BBQ in the hands of more customers. The pandemic accelerated their belief in delivery tech and the future of the restaurant industry, which brought them to a partnership with CloudKitchens. 

Q: Why did you join CloudKitchens?

A: We knew we needed to start thinking differently about the traditional restaurant, so we started looking for options to reach new customers with our BBQ. Ghost kitchens allow us to tap into new markets, with much lower operating costs, all while leveraging CloudKitchens support and delivery tech. We have been in business for 15 years and our customers used to drive up to 45 minutes away to order our BBQ. Now they can stay home and order delivery right from home. 

Q: How has your business grown since starting with CloudKitchens?

A: The largest area of growth for us has been operational growth. CloudKitchens is the perfect partner. They understand real estate, tech and restaurants. Being able to leverage that support has allowed us to expand our operations to multiple delivery locations, all in areas near high volumes of online orders. We're able to reach a lot of students and local residents that we were never able to reach before with our traditional brick and mortar location.

Q: What was life like before CloudKitchens? What is it like now?

A: Before CloudKitchens, we had one brick and mortar location, without the ability to reach more customers online and the ability to thrive through delivery. Now, we have partners like CloudKitchens that help us with order fulfillment and distribution. We've been able to grow our restaurant brand like never before with prime ghost kitchen real estate. CloudKitchens is great at doing the homework when it comes to selecting the right real estate locations. 

Q: Would you recommend CloudKitchens to others in the restaurant industry? Why?

A: Absolutely. If you are a restaurant owner looking to expand your brand and are really starting to think about how you should build your business for the future, CloudKitchens is the perfect fit. Partners like CloudKitchens allow you to make a bigger impact so that you can add more revenue and become more profitable in the long-term. 

Now Cali BBQ can get back to cooking their slow food fast, all while growing their brand online. CloudKitchens has helped them make a bigger impact with their delicious food, as well as bring in new revenue streams and help increase profitability. 

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