Interested in learning about a new way to reduce labor, rent, and other overhead costs while still increasing your restaurant's profits? Ghost kitchens are popping up all over the country and they're opening an exciting new door in the world of virtual restaurants and delivery. Here's a breakdown of what exactly these ghost kitchens are and what their future is in the food and beverage industry.

What Are Ghost Kitchens?

  • Ghost kitchens, also known as cloud kitchens or virtual kitchens, are a shared kitchen space restaurants can rent out to prepare and send out delivery orders.
  • The concept of ghost kitchens takes away the traditional brick and mortar setup of restaurants in favor of more kitchen and prep space.
  • Customers can connect to ghost kitchens using third-party delivery apps or through your restaurant's online ordering services.
  • Ghost kitchens typically service customers within a 3- to 5-mile radius.

In a world where many customers are opting to stay in rather than dining out, the food delivery industry has reaped the benefits with seeing customers and popularity skyrocket in the past couple of years. The future of restaurants is in delivery and ghost kitchens are the solution because they cater specifically to delivery and even carry out customers.

How Do Ghost Kitchens Work?

Most ghost kitchens are set up as individualized kitchens acting as “restaurant stations”. Each station is fully equipped with commercial ovens, sinks, workbenches, prep areas, cold and dry storage, and can be adjusted to the needs of your menu. The stations are designed for a small amount of staff to operate them which can be helpful in reducing the labor burden many food establishments face.

The Process Of Preparing And Delivering Orders

  1. Shared kitchen spaces receive orders through third-party apps on a screen at their station.
  2. Once an order is received, employees send out instructions to cooks.
  3. Cooks operate down the line, fulfilling orders as they go and then place completed orders on delivery racks.
  4. Once an order is finished, an employee sends out a notification to delivery drivers on third-party apps.
  5. Delivery drivers then pick up orders from corresponding delivery racks and head out to customers.

How Ghost Kitchens Help Cut Down Costs

Ghost kitchens are an ideal and budget-friendly solution for restaurants looking to expand delivery services without sacrificing space or reducing the amount of time dedicated to dine-in orders. If the cost of adding delivery services for your foodservice establishment is weighing you down, then consider using a ghost kitchen as a cheaper alternative to fuel delivery and carry out services.

The Financial Benefits Of A Ghost Kitchen

  • Renting out space at a ghost kitchen costs significantly less to rent out than a building or storefront.
  • Ghost kitchens are fully equipped the way a traditional commercial kitchen would be, and some shared kitchen spaces even offer kitchen adjustments to the needs of your restaurant.
  • If you're looking to test out food concepts, ghost kitchens have the ability to house several kinds of restaurants all under the same roof with little financial risks.
  • There are even some ghost kitchens that offer small dining areas for customers, although the focus is still heavily on delivery.

How To Operate Several Food Concepts In One Ghost Kitchen

If you have several brilliant restaurant concepts tucked away in your list of long-term goals, ghost kitchens can help bring those ideas to life. Apart from streamlining delivery, ghost kitchens can also be used as an additional space for creating brand new food concepts. Several shared kitchen spaces can be rented out by the same owner in ghost kitchens, providing you with the perfect opportunity to operate multiple concepts and create multiple menus.

Tips For Operating Several Ghost Kitchens

  • Ensure that all of your restaurants live on the same third-party delivery apps, so customers can easily find all the kinds of food concepts your business offers.
  • If you're an owner of several shared kitchens in the same ghost kitchen, cross-training your staff is also an easy way to cut down on labor and other expenses.
  • Create menus that use or can repurpose similar ingredients to cut down on food costs.
  • To organize your staff and prevent labor burden, make some of your restaurants available only at certain times or days of the week. Try combining breakfast or late-night concepts, or weekend-only options.
  • Make sure delivery racks are kept organized and separate from each other to avoid any confusion between kitchens and their corresponding orders.

How To Use Ghost Kitchens For Catering Services

Ghost kitchen concepts are also ideal for caterers, who need help with accommodating large orders for events, weddings, and other special occasions. If you're looking to expand your catering services, but aren't sure if your current kitchen can keep up with the demand, renting out a ghost kitchen could be a great, cost-effective alternative.

The Benefits of Ghost Kitchens For Caterers

  • Caterers are able to prepare large orders for events happening on the same day without losing kitchen space.
  • Ghost kitchens serve as a great space to train additional staff without interrupting the work of other cooks, servers, and employees as they prepare for other events.
  • An additional kitchen provides additional storage space for just about everything your catering service offers.
  • On-site delivery drivers can help transport foods, tableware, and even staff to your guest's venue.

Why Use Ghost Kitchens?

If you're an up-and-coming chef looking to start their business or an established restaurant owner looking to expand your establishment, ghost kitchens may be the solution for your business ventures. Ghost kitchens are an innovative solution to the rising demand in the ever-growing world of food delivery. A perfect fit for established chefs, caterers, and budding restaurant owners alike, keep an eye out for shared kitchen spaces near you in the future.