Food delivery has been reshaping the restaurant industry since the late 2000s. As more and more people started ordering food online, a significant portion of their orders was facilitated through third-party delivery apps.

With restaurant deliveries soaring, an entirely new delivery and takeout business model emerged. Enter dark kitchens - highly efficient production units without a storefront that are optimized for delivery.

Dark kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens or cloud kitchens, have many advantages for different business owners and types of restaurants. But what exactly is a dark kitchen?

 

Many names, one concept

 

Dark kitchens are also known as virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens, ghost kitchens or delivery-only restaurants. However you call it, a dark kitchen always revolves around the same concept: selling meals exclusively through delivery

Ghost kitchens have no sitting capacity for in-house diners or walk-ins, as they focus only on delivery, preparing food once an order comes in through a delivery app or an online ordering system.

Once the meal is ready, delivery drivers then collect it for delivery. Some dark kitchens also offer takeout, letting customers pick up their food themselves.

 

Benefits for restaurants

 

There's a reason why cloud kitchens suddenly seem to be popping up everywhere. Ghost kitchens are said to have many advantages for restaurants of all kinds and sizes.

Not having to provide customer seating and waiting areas significantly lowers the cost of rent and additionally, there's no need to hire serving staff either. Ghost kitchens are therefore a great way for restaurants to reduce overheads, while increasing their capacity to cater to the increased food delivery market.

Dark kitchens also enable restaurants to easily experiment with new brands, menus and concepts. There are no physical premises to take into account when consumer food trends change, so delivery kitchens can quickly move on to a whole different menu or concept in no time. If a brand isn't landing, they can quite simply create a new one and try again.

Multiple virtual brands can be prepared in the same kitchen. That's why it's easy to target multiple segments and serve multiple different demographics at the same time.  

 

Casper, the Ghost Kitchen. Bagging food for delivery.

 

Where did the dark kitchen come from?

 

Technology has changed the consumer market incredibly in the past couple of years. Today, you can order a product or service from the other side of the world, personalize it, and pay for it online within seconds. 

The food industry eagerly adopted this e-commerce success story. It's the success of online ordering players like Uber Eats, Just Eat, Doordash, Deliveroo, and many more that paved the way for dark kitchens. These third-party delivery channels enable food businesses to easily connect with customers and quickly deliver meals to their doorstep.

Getting food to customers has become easier - even for small, independently-owned restaurants - a change which has led to an increased offer to match the ever-growing demand.

 

Data-driven business concept

 

With online platforms intervening, all face-to-face contact between the restaurant and the customer is disappearing. Needless to say, cloud kitchens must harness cutting-edge technologies and appropriate marketing strategies to reach and keep their demanding audiences.

Automating and optimizing your operational flow is crucial to the success of ghost kitchens. Imagine working with 3 or 4 different delivery services, all of which come with their own hardware and software. Now imagine offering multiple virtual brands, across multiple locations. 

Streamlining your online delivery operation is required to help you manage incoming deliveries, and to help you get your food out to the customer in as little time as possible.

 

Cloud kitchens are no longer a thing of the future - they are here to stay. Find out how Deliverect is helping dark kitchens across the globe take control of delivery, boosting efficiency and growing revenue.

Deliverect
September 2, 2019 by Deliverect

Deliverect connects restaurant POS systems to delivery platforms and online ordering services, making online order management easy.