What are ghost kitchens?
People are becoming more and more interested in this fast growing trend that is destroying the food industry.
Ghost kitchens are basically restaurants that don’t dine in. Instead, these eateries take customer orders online and only serve food through delivery or takeaway. In this post, we will discuss the benefits of ghost kitchens and everything you need to know about them before you start your own business!
Ghost restaurant vs traditional restaurants
Ghost kitchens also known as cloud restaurants or restaurants with delivery, a relatively new phenomenon. They don’t have a physical place for customers to eat. Instead, they focus solely on cooking. Ghost kitchens may be self-sustaining businesses or may be associated with a traditional restaurant.
Ghost kitchens can be integrated fairly easily into existing restaurant operations. They also cut down on overheads as they don’t have to run a canteen or pay waiters.
Ghost kitchens also typically have a more limited menu than their brick-and-mortar counterparts because they only need to prepare takeaway or delivery food, rather than serving customers who dine.
Often ghost kitchens specialize in a particular cuisine rather than offering a wide variety of dishes. This specialization helps simplify food preparation and optimize the quality of each dish.
Finally, ghost kitchens often rely on third-party delivery services like GrubHub, Postmates, or Doordash to deliver food to their customers. By comparison, traditional restaurants usually have their own delivery staff.
The Growing Appeal of Ghost Kitchens
Several factors make ghost kitchens contacting food companies. First, they are much cheaper to create and operate than traditional restaurants. Without a dining area, ghost kitchens can be smaller and require fewer staff.
Plus, ghost kitchens have a lot of flexibility when it comes to location. While outdated restaurants tend to choose places with heavy foot traffic, ghost kitchens may instead choose to move closer to food production facilities. This reduces food waste and saves on shipping costs.
Finally, ghost kitchens can be specially adapted for order delivery and takeaway. This is becoming more and more popular as people get busier and want food delivered to their doorstep.
No wonder ghost kitchens are trending. According to Huhtamaki Q1 2022 Trend Report51% of restaurateurs have already switched to virtual kitchens in response to changing consumer habits.
Pros and cons of a ghost kitchen
Overall, ghost kitchens present new opportunities and challenges for business owners.
Reducing kitchen management costs is a big plus for ghost kitchens. They employ fewer cooks and have a simpler kitchen layout. This optimizes efficiency and reduces labor costs.
However, ghost kitchens can also pose some problems. For example, since customers can’t come into the kitchen to order food, business owners need to get creative in their marketing efforts so that potential customers are aware of their menu and meal plan options. They also need more careful planning to ensure that orders are placed quickly and correctly.
Types of ghost cuisine
As this business model has evolved, we have seen several different types of ghost kitchens. Here is a summary of the most common:
Incubator Ghost Restaurants: These are usually start-ups that partner with an existing restaurant or catering business that provides them with space, equipment, and sometimes even staff. In return, they usually receive a portion of the profits. Examples of Incubator Ghost Restaurants: ShiftPixieand the Denver Lobster stop, opened by the Blue Island oyster bar.
Entrepreneur’s Ghost Restaurants: As the name suggests, this is a business founded by entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity in the ghost kitchen industry. They are also known as “shared kitchens” or “shop kitchens”. They often rent space in commercial kitchens or other food-related businesses and outsource everything from staff to marketing. This is a cost effective way to get into the ghost kitchen game as you share the space and equipment with other kitchen businesses/brands. Examples of entrepreneurial ghost restaurants in the US are Kitchen United, Cloud Kitchens, Gabriella’s New York City Pizza, and REEF Kitchens.
Kitchen capsules: These are self-contained units that can be placed anywhere. They are equipped with everything you need to run a restaurant, from cooking equipment to ventilation and refrigeration. Kitchen pods are becoming more popular with ghost kitchen owners as they provide more flexibility in terms of location. Examples of American kitchen capsules include Mobile kitchens USAKitchenPodular, Zuul Kitchen and TemporaryKitchens123.
Basic Steps to Set Up a Ghost Kitchen
By renting out space in a communal kitchen, ghost kitchens can help reduce the overhead costs associated with traditional restaurants. However, creating a ghost kitchen can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start by finding the right place.
Ghost kitchens usually require less space than traditional restaurants, so you can find less space at a more affordable price. Just be sure to pick the perfect spot.
- Kitchen appliances
Next, you need to equip the kitchen with the necessary equipment, including a refrigerator, freezer, coffee makerdishwasher and blender. Be sure to choose energy efficient appliances to keep your operating costs down.
- Define your menu
Once you have the equipment, it’s time to think about menu items. Ghost kitchens usually specialize in one or two cuisines, so it’s important to choose dishes that appeal to your target market. Keep your menu simple at first, then gradually add new items as you get more comfortable working in your haunted kitchen.
- Marketing plan for your Ghost Kitchen
Lastly, don’t forget to promote your ghost kitchen online and by word of mouth. Social media is a great way to connect with potential clients and let them know about your new business. Handing out flyers in high-traffic areas can also generate interest in your ghost kitchen.
The cost of installing a ghost kitchen
Ghost kitchens offer economical way open a new restaurant. However, there are still some serious costs to consider. For example, you will need to buy or rent a commercial kitchen space and equip the kitchen with appliances and dishwashers. You will also have to consider personnel costs. Ghost kitchens can be a significant investment, but they certainly lower the barrier to entry into the restaurant industry.
The foundation ghost kitchen opening costs are:
- Commercial kitchen rental rate: $20-$45 per hour, depending on location and length of contract.
- Commercial kitchen rental: $2.05/sq.m. Feet per month.
- Hardware and Appliances: over $45,000.
- City Permits, Licenses, and Fees: $175-$8,500 excluding liquor licenses.
- POS System: $80-150 per month for software plus one-time hardware costs.
Try Dive’s’ RestaurantGhost Kitchen Calculator‘ to calculate your potential costs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ghost Kitchens & Restaurants
How can I turn my restaurant into a ghost kitchen?
Many restaurant owners wonder how they can turn their existing restaurants into ghost kitchens.
The first step is to evaluate kitchen appliances and equipment. You can repurpose dishwashers and other large appliances for use in the ghost kitchen. However, you will also need to invest in some new kitchen equipment such as countertop burner sets and commercial refrigerators.
Once you have the right equipment, you can customize your ghost kitchen menu. Simple meals like burgers and pizza work well in a ghost kitchen, as they can be prepared quickly and don’t require many complex ingredients. By making these simple changes, you can easily turn your restaurant into a ghost kitchen.
What is the difference between a ghost kitchen and a dark kitchen?
The ghost kitchen is a restaurant that exists only in the virtual world and does not have physical places to eat. These businesses are designed to provide customers with hassle-free delivery for a fraction of the cost of traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, and often partner with popular food delivery apps.
On the other hand, dark kitchens are physical restaurants that don’t serve diners. Instead, these businesses focus on takeout and delivery orders and typically have no seating or decor. In addition, dark kitchens often partner with ghost kitchens, allowing them to reach a wider range of customers.
However, some dark kitchens have their signature apps and websiteswhich allows them to control the quality of the customer experience from start to finish.
How profitable are ghost kitchens?
In the past few years, restaurateurs, developers, and catering operators have wondered about the profitability of ghost kitchens.
There are several factors to consider when evaluating whether a ghost kitchen will be profitable. These include the initial investment, the type of food served on the menu, the delivery platforms used, and overhead costs. According to cloud kitchenssome ghost kitchens can pay for themselves in 6 months with a capital cost of $30,000.
To answer the question: yes, ghost kitchens can be profitable. But that’s not all.
Use this calculator calculate some numbers and determine the profitability of the ghost kitchen.
If you’re looking for a new culinary experience or want to support a local business, keep an eye out for ghost kitchens in your area. These innovative restaurants are shaking up the food industry, especially in the urban areas of the United States, and they’re here to stay. So feel free to order this salad – it will be cooked fresh and delivered right to your door.
This concludes our article on ghost kitchens. We hope you found it informative and that it gave you a better understanding of this new restaurant trend.
Enjoy your meal!
This article originally appeared on My Work From Home Money.