Dine-in restrictions and diner’s hesitation to eat out in times of pandemic have prompted restaurants to shift their focus to takeaway and delivery. High demand for food delivery services due to the COVID had boosted the growth of Ghost Kitchens, escalating the popularity and profitability of the business. According to Technomic, a research strategic consulting group for the foodservice industry, Ghost Kitchen food sales is expected to increase by 25% each year for the next 5 years
What is a Ghost Kitchen?
Ghost Kitchen can be called a virtual kitchen, an off-premise facility for preparing the food for delivery. Ghost Kitchen serves customers exclusively through online orders, and they are restaurants with no dining space. For entrepreneurs, the Ghost Kitchen concept offers an opportunity to launch their restaurant brands at a minimal cost which poses much less risk than opening a restaurant in a physical location.
Ghost Kitchens are structured by creating their own virtual off-premise kitchens. Some independent contractors deliver food by themselves for cost-cutting, while others go for third-party delivery services to increase their brand visibility.
Another trend that is setting in is that some restaurants are renting out their kitchens, providing the space and equipment for the Ghost Kitchen brands, which serves as an additional revenue stream for the restaurants by renting the kitchen.
How does a Ghost Kitchen work?
. Customers can contact the Ghost Kitchen through the restaurant’s website, mobile app or third-party delivery apps and using which they can also view the menu, place an order, and pay for their food using credit/debit cards.
The Kitchen staff gets notified about the order placed by the customer and begins the food preparation.
When food is prepared, it is delivered to the customer’s location by their own delivery person or through third party delivery service
After the food gets delivered to the customers and the payment is made, funds are released to the business
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How to set up your Ghost Kitchen?
- Optimise food menu: preparation time, food temperature, quality, versatility of ingredients, etc., are factors that have to be considered to deliver quality food. In Ghost Kitchen concept, keep your food costs low by offering menu items that require similar ingredients.
- Choose a Location: The greatest advantage of the Ghost Kitchen is that it can be located anywhere. You only need a Kitchen space that expands your delivery range. Choose a location where dine-in customers already exist to ensure a customer base for your food delivery. If you choose a new location where you don’t have a customer base, make sure to make your brand visible.
- Choose Delivery methods: You can choose to deliver food to customers by hiring your own delivery service persons or can go for third–party delivery apps such as Swiggy, Zomato, etc., to deliver the prepared food to the customers. You can choose whichever is cost-efficient.
- Ensure the hygiene of Your Ghost Kitchen: The local health department will review the food storage areas, production methods and standard operating procedure of your Ghost kitchen before it can become operational. Ensure the health safety requirements of your Ghost Kitchen to pass the inspection.
- Experiment with new Food items: One of the most significant benefits of the Ghost kitchen is that you can try different menus based on the ingredient availability and update the live menu.
- Staff Your Ghost Kitchen: Ghost kitchens require only a few staff members. Make sure you hire a professional cook because it’s the only significant investment you will do that greatly impacts your brand’s reach. For recruiting potent employees, advertise your job openings where job seekers are actively searching for jobs.
What are the benefits of Ghost Kitchen?
- Ghost kitchens do not require investment in the costs of dine-in experience like furniture, décor, etc.
- Ghost Kitchen can easily rent out spaces for food preparation that makes the launch quicker
- Delivery-only food services let the customers enjoy delicious food, especially during times of pandemic
- Existing restaurants can rent out their extra Kitchen space to the Ghost Kitchen brands and earn additional revenue
- Ghost Kitchens are way more adaptable to the customer’s preferences and changing market conditions.
The restaurant’s needs have decreased, and thereby customers just prefer to scroll through the menu list in the food delivery app and place the orders of their favourite dishes. Ghost Kitchen is looked at as an alternative to restaurants in the prevailing pandemic situation because restaurants rely more on food delivery orders than walk-in customers. Ghost Kitchens are becoming the emerging trend in the restaurant business, which is sure to soar high even after the pandemic because of the trend it has set in. This dominance of the Ghost Kitchens opens the door to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to enthrone their food delivery business.