What is a Ghost Kitchen?
From Wikipedia – A ghost kitchen is a professional food preparation and cooking facility set up for the preparation of delivery-only meals. It may also be called a delivery-only restaurant, online-only restaurant, delivery kitchen, virtual kitchen, shadow kitchen, commissary kitchen, dark kitchen, ghost line, or cloud kitchen (or other variant names, referring to “ghost kitchens”). However, a ghost kitchen differs from a virtual restaurant in that a ghost kitchen is not necessarily a restaurant brand in itself and may contain kitchen space and facilities for more than one restaurant brand.
Customer demand is exploding for delivery services fostering the rise of Delivery Service companies such as Grubhub, UberEats, Postmates just to name a few. As previously discussed [link to post “Delivery”] there is a risk to outsourcing your delivery. The company is “hired” to perform the delivery and it’s nearly impossible to control the quality of the customer experience when the final step, kitchen to table is by car and sneaker through a yard. There are just too many things that can go wrong. Unfortunately the customer still holds the restaurant responsible for anything amiss.
More on the Ghost Kitchen
A ghost kitchen contains the kitchen equipment and facilities needed for the preparation of restaurant meals but has no dining area for walk-in customers. Ghost kitchens have emerged as a business model in response to the rapid growth in consumer demand for restaurant delivery meals, and the lower costs incurred by using kitchen facilities located outside of high-rent, high-foot-trafficked urban locations. Using a ghost kitchen allows established restaurants with dining-in service to expand their delivery operations without adding stress to the existing kitchen, frees up parking taken by the delivery vehicles, and allows them to enter new neighborhoods at lower cost.
The other aspect of running a Ghost Kitchen is the timing of deliveries. If you make the food upon the order there can be a sizable delay in the arrival of the driver. Many restaurants are simplifying waiting until a few minutes before the anticipated delivery arrival to begin preparing the meal. Operating on the principle that it’s better for the delivery driver to wait a minute or two rather than the customer receiving cold food. So it’s evident that processes need to be in place to manage not only the process of order, food preparation but also the delivery. There needs to be a complete system in place to assist your Ghost Kitchen and the HungryZeit platform delivers exactly what you need.
Lower your costs and even consider expanding with a Ghost Kitchen
An individual can set up a ghost kitchen to start their own brand, which is identified with their own online restaurant. One might choose to start up a ghost kitchen because setup costs are lower, and the time taken is shorter, than for a kitchen that also serves a walk-in restaurant. It might take only 3 or 4 weeks.
Due to the money saved by not having a dining room and not hiring waitstaff, ghost restaurants have significantly lower overhead (even taking into account the expense of operating a delivery service or the fees charged by third party delivery companies like Grubhub and Caviar) and thus higher profit margins.
Without a brick-and-mortar dining location to renovate, front-of-house staff, and paper menus to reprint, companies can also try out new brands and cuisines with less effort and expense.
Big names such as Nathans, NCR, Reef and even Kroger are moving in this direction enabling commerce to thrive even while under lockdown duress. HungryZeit builds on decades of solid platform development allowing your venture to thrive even in adverse times. Contact us for additional information.
Some links on the viability of Ghost Kitchens: