How Do Ghost Kitchens Work? A Step-wise Guide

Ghost kitchens are slowly but steadily making waves in people’s lives with their unmissable service and variety of food choices. But have you ever wondered how do these kitchens operate without letting the complexity of the process get the better of them? Here is the blog explaining how do ghost kitchens work.

Gone are the days when people only had to visit restaurants to eat out. Now, they get to relish their favorite foods with merely a few taps on their screens without stepping out of their homes. All thanks to the evolving technologies and increasing popularity of the “order-in” culture. Such a shift in preferences has given rise to the establishment of ghost kitchens around the world.

Ghost Kitchens: A Brief on the Fast-catching Global Trend

A ghost kitchen is nothing but a food preparation & delivery service that does not have a physical outlet for customers to visit & dine-in. All it has is a well-equipped kitchen to prepare food with limited staff and a finely curated, delivery-friendly menu. As a result, ghost kitchens don’t involve the huge investments that a traditional restaurant requires, whether it is a happening location, attractive decor, an elaborate staff, or dedicated parking spaces.

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Instead, these kitchens are present on multiple food delivery platforms – mobile apps and websites – so that the target consumer base can find and order from them. Interestingly enough, ghost kitchens are run by both first-time individual foodpreneurs as well as established virtual restaurants alike.

Now that we have absorbed the basics of what is ghost kitchen concept is, it is time to uncover how ghost kitchens actually work.

A Step-wise Guide on How Do Ghost Kitchens Work 

Step-wise Guide on How Ghost Kitchens Work

The kitchens themselves don’t have a storefront and the staff prepares dishes off of their menus that are only available for delivery. Think of it as a virtual restaurant operating as a digital storefront, with a few back-of-house staff members working on fulfilling online orders.

Unlike virtual restaurants, ghost kitchens don’t have to hustle in managing multiple things at a time, like attending to customers and entertaining guests in the waiting area. The sole focus is to cook the best-quality food that is well optimized for delivery. And thus, the work operations of ghost kitchens seem pretty straightforward and easy to understand. Let’s explore it in detail through the following steps:

  1. Placement of Orders

    A consumer places an order via any food delivery platform you, as a ghost kitchen, are present on. For this to take place, however, it is imperative to have a strong online presence and a hearty, inviting menu in place. 

  2. Receipt of order details

    You receive the order placed by users with all the necessary details, along with customizations or special requests, if any.

  3. Preparation of order

    You start cooking the fresh meal using the required ingredients and equipment in the designated timeline provided to the consumers. While the quality is of utmost importance, you also need to be as rapid as you can. Otherwise, you may lose customers due to late delivery!

  4. Packing of order

    Once you are done preparing the meal, it’s time to pack the same in the most hygienic, convenient, and safe packaging possible in a way that also pleases the eye. Good packaging can be a bit expensive, but you can’t risk the food’s safety and quality until it reaches the customer as expected.

  5. Delivery

    After the appropriate packing, you mark the order as complete in the food delivery app/website. The delivery person would then visit your ghost kitchen, pick up the order and deliver it to the doorsteps of the consumer. The delivery fleet tends to assign the nearest runner to your location so that the order can reach its destination in a minimum timeframe. 

    To get the most out of the above steps, you have to think of an efficient workflow that suits your distinct kitchen concept.

Technology makes it even simpler

With the boom in technology, managing the ghost kitchen is no longer a headache. There are plenty of dedicated POS (Point-of-Sale) for ghost and cloud kitchens with powerful features designed to simplify your day-to-day operations. 

Wondering what those features are? Here’s a list of them:

  • A centralized interface that receives and organizes all your incoming orders in one place
  • Instant assignment of orders for prompt output
  • Functions to manage inventory and sales
  • Real-time analysis and reports to determine your business’s current standing and plan for a promising future
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Ghost Kitchen Business Model

From the business model point of view, ghost kitchens are extremely cost-effective. It all starts with renting a place in any area convenient for you, getting listed on food delivery apps, such as Postmates, and you’re ready to fulfill orders. The infrastructure cost is way lower than the brick-and-mortar outlets. At the same time, the ability to scale operations as per demands is significantly higher.  

If you already own a traditional restaurant business brand, you can diversify into a ghost kitchen to expand your delivery range from the same facility. Doing so allows you to capture new markets by experimenting with your service offerings without massive extra investments. 

One of the most popular ghost kitchen business models is a shared ghost kitchen. Here, multiple ghost kitchens run under the same roof, sharing the facility and its equipment. That takes the overhead costs out of the picture since you only have to incur the expenses of rent, the labor, and the food you prepare.

Ghost Kitchens: The Next Big Thing? 

By 2025, the market volume of online food delivery business worldwide is expected to reach approximately 401,391 million, according to a Statista report. The same study also predicts the segment to cross a whopping figure of 2,638.1 million users by 2025. Add to that the decreased market risks, easy maintenance, flexibility, minimal wastage, and a handful of staff. All of that, when put together, pretty much explains why entrepreneurs, chefs, and investors are keen to have their piece of the ghost kitchen pies. A trend that only seems to be growing in the near future.


Ghost kitchens are turning out to be safe bets for those wanting to make a mark in the rapidly growing food delivery market segment. It consists of simpler work operations with maximum efficiency to cater to the changing needs and demands of consumers. The challenge lies in choosing the right menu and delivery components to stay ahead in the curve.

If you have decided to start your own ghost kitchen and make food deliveries with the help of contract drivers, then we can help. Yes, we, at Upper Route Planner, help you deliver food on time without spending too much time on planning and optimizing routes.

Upper Route Planner will handle all the pain of route planning, optimizing, proof of delivery, and dispatch. With this software, you can automate the whole food delivery process. To know more about the features and functionalities of this software, you can and get amazing benefits.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.