If you know anything about the latest restaurant trends, you know that the gratuitous uptake in the demand for food delivery has completely shaken the restaurant market.
Gone are the days when pizza and Chinese food are the only delivery options available.
These days, customers want all of their cravings on demand, from fast-casual meals to 5-star dining--and they want these meals at home, at work, on-the-go... pretty much everywhere except in the restaurant dining area.
So what does that mean for the average restaurant owner?
We've Said It Before: Delivery is on the Menu
Apps, partnerships and integrations like GrubHub, UberEats, Deliveroo, DoorDash, and TableUp are essential to make it in the restaurant world today. While they were initially thought of as competition for restaurants, they’re now likely to be considered an asset.
Companies like this are making it possible for restaurant businesses that lack their own delivery model to offer this highly essential feature (delivery) to hungry and picky consumers. Without this option they’d be unable to tap into the delivery market which makes up most of restaurant orders today.
Delivery with a Twist
Now, there is an even more evolved delivery trend emerging, a trend that takes the dining out of restaurants altogether: the ghost kitchen
Recognising the power and profit in the delivery game, savvy restaurateurs are all about this latest food service model.
What is a Ghost Kitchen?
A ghost kitchen (sometimes referred to as a cloud kitchen, dark kitchen or hidden kitchen) is essentially just a macabre word for a delivery-only kitchen. It's basically a food preparation and cooking facility set up for a delivery-only restaurant business.
Hold up: delivery only?
Yes! Ghost kitchens do away with the traditional restaurant model of front-of-house and back-of-house and simply focus on the back-of-house plus point of sale.
A ghost kitchen has all the professional-grade equipment and regulations as a regular restaurant kitchen, even with their own point of sale hardware and software, only there is no dining area for walk-in customers.
Why Ghost Kitchens?
Since the delivery revolution has created a whole new business model, many are wondering: why are ghost kitchens getting so popular?
Delivery is Exploding
The most simple answer to the rapid increase in ghost kitchens is a numbers game: delivery is now king in the restaurant world and because of that investors, savvy chefs and restaurant owners are jumping to take advantage of this trend.
Ghost kitchens focus on delivery only, so they don’t need the overhead of front of house staff and they also keep costs low by lower using kitchen facilities located outside of the high-rent, high-foot-trafficked urban locations sought after by regular dine-in restaurants.
It’s important to note that ghost kitchens can be used to launch entirely new restaurant businesses but they can also be used to expand the delivery range of an existing establishment or brand.
Popular restaurants with brick and mortar locations have been utilizing ghost kitchens to expand their delivery operations without adding stress to the existing kitchen. Doing so frees up the bandwidth and parking taken by the delivery operations and allows them to enter new neighborhoods at lower cost and serve more customers which then brings in more profit.
Are Ghost Kitchens the Future?
With existing brands, hungry chefs and budding entrepreneurs scrambling to capitalize on the ghost kitchens trend, has the restaurant industry changed for good?
The answer is, yes and no. The restaurant industry is always evolving, and ghost kitchens are now a part of that narrative. Whether they will eclipse the current delivery model or wash out casual dine-in options altogether remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it’s important for restaurant owners and anyone in hospitality to recognize the rise in ghost kitchens (and delivery in general) and adapt to that change.
Your Best Asset
In an ever-changing market, your best asset is a restaurant point of sale system that can scale and adjust to any shift in the market, no matter how small or large. From delivery to kitchen display systems, to the latest advancements and integrations in restaurant POS hardware and software today, Epos Now has you covered.