Over recent years, there's been an increase in the number of people that turn to third-party delivery apps to receive their food. This trend has only gotten more popular after the onset of COVID-19, which has severely limited indoor seating for restaurants.
The popularity of online ordering has a direct correlation with the influx of virtual kitchen companies. Virtual kitchens, also known as ghost and virtual kitchens, retain the kitchen function of standard restaurants but eliminate the seating portion. They can cater to a wide range of customers without ever having direct contact with them.
If you're considering jumping into the virtual restaurant trend and building a kitchen online, the first thing you have to decide is what your virtual restaurant menu is going to be. Here are some of the types of food that go well with virtual kitchens.
Foods that can be made quickly, such as sandwiches, burgers and pizzas, tend to do well in the virtual kitchen format. These foods are already popular with online ordering; if you're going to spend money on dining in, which includes tipping and extra taxes, chances are it's going to be for a nice meal, not a fast food dish.
Since most restaurants that serve fast food items don't need seating, this type of food can make a virtual kitchen start-up pretty successful. Moreover, these sorts of meals are easy to create.
COVID-19 is not the only thing currently threatening the world. Climate change continues to pose a problem, and more and more people are adjusting their lifestyles to try and accommodate it. This has led to an emergence of vegan and plant-based meals; not only are they environmentally-friendly, but they're also healthy.
Another perk of plant-based food is that currently, there's not much competition in the market. While some restaurants offer a few plant-based options, many still have not embraced the vegan trend and don't even offer a single plant-based dish. Centering your menu around plant-based meals could be a great way to stand out, as well as a lucrative option.
A Wide Range
One of the coolest things about virtual kitchens is that owners have the freedom to experiment with their menu items. The lack of printed materials allows for flexibility that traditional restaurants simply don't have. If a family or group of friends are ordering food together, chances are they're going to turn to a restaurant that gives them lots of options, from spicy to sweet.
One trend that many virtual kitchens are considering is the multiple kitchen concept. This involves serving multiple menus all from the same kitchen. For example, one kitchen can cater to a fast-food menu and a more gourmet, Italian style menu at the same time. More diversity in food items means more potential customers.
Once you've figured out the type of food you'd like for your virtual kitchen, you have to determine how you're going to reach your customers. Considering that 60% of customers order food online once a week, it's essential that you have a method to reach these people. The main way most ghost kitchens do this is by partnering with third-party delivery systems such as UberEats, GrubHub and DoorDash. These applications already have their own established client-bases that virtual kitchens can take advantage of.
The downside to working with third-party delivery apps is the complexity of the system. If you work with more than one app, which is ideal if you want to reach a wider audience, then you have to manage your orders across multiple devices. Even if you're a technology wizard, it can be difficult to process all of these orders in real-time without making mistakes.
Cuboh is a platform that streamlines your delivery orders to one device, making it easy to manage multiple orders at once. It also sends your orders to your POS system as they're coming in, ensuring that you don't unintentionally miss anything. Here are some more services offered by Cuboh:
- Printer connections
- Organized restaurant analytics
- Customer service
If a customer using a delivery app puts in a special request, assuming it's free when it's actually not, that could hurt your business. Either your restaurant does not comply with the request--in which the customer might leave a bad review--or the restaurant does follow it, consequently losing money by giving food away for free.
Cuboh will catch the misunderstanding and clear things up for you. Your job is to keep customers happy by creating delicious dishes, so let Cuboh handle the pesky task of managing all those orders!