Wondering if starting your own ghost kitchen despite having an established restaurant business is worth it? Or whether the extra hustle would help in your restaurant’s expansion? We heard you! In this blog, we have outlined how opening a ghost kitchen can boost the growth of your existing restaurant to help you arrive at a decision.
The ghost kitchen business model has picked up a great pace ever since people have fallen for the online food delivery trend. Many first-time entrepreneurs have entered this evolving market segment to meet modern delivery demands. Even hundreds of thousands of established, traditional restaurants all over the globe have also taken the plunge to reap their share of benefits from ghost kitchens.
However, a lot of the set restaurants are still considering whether to dive into the phenomena. Some have no clue about how to implement the ghost kitchen model while others are holding back as they are unsure of how it would contribute to their growth if, at all, there is one. In such a case, it is critical to analyze the hows and whys, but before we do that, let’s first understand the reasons behind the soaring popularity of ghost kitchens (also known as dark kitchens).
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Why Are Ghost Kitchens Becoming Popular?
The primary cause is the boom in the demand for food delivery in the restaurant industry. So much so that the online food delivery market across the globe is projected to reach more than $192 billion in 2025, as per a report by The Business Research Company. Add to that the sudden, prolonged pandemic that has altered people’s preferences significantly. Now, they are more comfortable ordering in instead of the conventional dine-outs.
Apart from that, it involves low start-up & overhead costs as you do not need spacious real estate, extensive training, or a huge team to start this new revenue stream. A compact place with the necessary equipment with a simple delivery-friendly menu is enough. Even the overheads are lower, minimizing the number of risks compared to a brick-and-mortar establishment. That, in turn, is shooting up the segment even further.
But the question is, should you also join the bandwagon? The answer is yes. Let’s find out how embracing the ghost kitchen concept can bring the desired growth, making your already established restaurant thrive.
5 Ways a Ghost Kitchen Can Help Your Restaurant Grow
It turns into a complete solution for your business
Since you already have a restaurant, setting up a separate space for a ghost kitchen won’t be much of a hassle. You can reorganize the place a bit, repurpose existing equipment as required, and set up a check-in counter. All of that with a nominal upfront capital and smart division of your existing team. And your delivery-only kitchen is ready to take in online orders within a month.
What’s interesting is you then have two different kitchens for dine-ins and delivery with a distinct workflow. That ensures the orders do not overlap and affect the efficiency of either process. As a result, you get to optimize your business without going overboard with the budget.
If it is not possible to accommodate your current restaurant kitchen for a ghost kitchen or virtual kitchen, you can rent a place in a commissary kitchen. Such kitchens tend to have everything set up for you – from storage spaces to cooking equipment. You only have to pay rent and bear the day-to-day expenses. This way, you have two businesses out there with similar/unique food offerings and minimum investments.
It lets you concentrate on food
The best thing about ghost kitchens is they relieve you from the troubles of looking after the operational part of the business, such as logistics and fulfillment of orders. More often than not, there is a third-party delivery platform to handle that for you. Thus, you get to put your full attention to your passion – cooking. That improves the quality of the food items on your menu, exceeding your customers’ expectations and eventually driving in more sales.
It provides ease of experimentation
Let’s say you want to introduce a new outlet with a fresh menu concept. Now, the cost of it in the case of a traditional restaurant would be way higher. Also, it could take months to set up, giving you sleepless nights. And finally, when it is open, it does not click with your target customers, taking all your investments and hard work down the drain.
With ghost kitchens, however, you are saved from going through such a scenario. Ghost kitchens empower you to design new food concepts, try diverse recipes and discover what is working for you at a fraction of the cost, time, and risks involved in conventional eateries. That way, you get to broaden both your brand and consumer base in a flexible manner, opening up more revenue streams without having to spend months on the process.
It makes it possible to go multiple
You can create multiple brands out of a single ghost kitchen. For instance, you can branch out into an Italian breakfast concept and introduce a special American lunch menu all from your current kitchen. Doing so places your brand in front of different customer segments online, widening your reach. Besides, it provides you with added exposure to the food delivery platforms you are associated with, increasing the chances of more revenues.
It optimizes revenues with cost minimization
Ghost kitchens, as you now know, are delivery-only business models. Therefore, it saves you from a million-dollar investment into a luxe location, labor, and maintenance costs. All it takes is capital worth some thousands and excellent cooking skills to get started. Moreover, it packs in limited overhead expenses, staff of 2-5 people, and minimum food wastage. That opens doors to more scope for profits, letting you expand your business without going bankrupt.
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Ghost kitchens (also known as cloud kitchens and dark kitchens) are restaurants that only provide food orders through in-house or third-party delivery services. With the changing consumer behaviour and the growing appetite of the population, restaurants are unable to serve both dine-in customers as well as delivery-only orders. Setting up ghost kitchens help these brick and morton restaurants in setting up a distinction between dine-in and delivery-only orders.
Entrepreneurs prefer to open ghost kitchens because they are highly profitable. It requires less startup and operational costs with no need for a restaurant space, limited staff, and delivery-only orders. So they cut down on rent, labour and other operational costs while earning more by way of delivery charges, part of which goes to third party delivery services.
Ghost kitchens are popular because they are easier to open, operate, and earn a profit from, than a traditional brick and mortar restaurant that requires restaurant space to accommodate dine-in traffic. Ghost kitchen is an appealing option for businesses in the food service industry and it is only going to grow in the next few years.
For an established restaurateur in the market, ghost kitchens can spell more success for you. You don’t have to put in a huge amount of money or get an army of master chefs on board. You could begin from your own restaurant kitchen, offering a delectable, fresh food concept or in a small rented space using limited resources, and still manage to appeal to an entirely new segment of customers online. It all boils down to the right planning and implementation.