With the need to socially distance and keep contact with other people to a minimum during the pandemic, the rise of virtual kitchens has skyrocketed. The demand for quality food has not lessened despite in-person dining being restricted. In fact, delivery-only restaurants have been popping up all over and customer demand has remained steady. There is every reason to think that the virtual kitchen trend will continue long after pandemic restrictions lift and the world is reopened.
While virtual kitchen spaces continue to increase, new start-ups look for funding to take advantage of the new trend and market their own unique ideas. Read on to find out more about virtual, or ghost kitchens, and how new foodies are getting the funding they need.
Benefits of Ghost Kitchens
One of the biggest benefits of a ghost kitchen is that it saves money and resources for the restaurant. It allows them to focus solely on prepping high-quality ingredients into delicious meals that customers are sure to love. This increased attention to quality is essential for those that can't provide the ambiance of dining at the restaurant.
Not only are virtual kitchens safer in that they limit contact, but they provide a high level of convenience. Customers simply need to go online to find a menu on the restaurant site or on a third-party app where they can peruse all of the food options, place their order, pay with their preferred method of payment and wait for their delicious meal to be delivered.
New Software and Tech
The trend in restaurant innovation to serve customers in this new way has been a huge success and also demands new restaurant tech to be implemented to handle online orders that come pouring in. Restaurant software is needed to manage the various systems from payment to order processing to ensure that all food orders placed are dealt with in a timely manner so that the customer gets their food hot and fresh in the time frame they expected.
The right software will drastically improve the way your restaurant operates. Restaurant SaaS can improve your speed and take the place of old and outdated programs that require too much training time and may have defects that cause frequent interruptions. Most types of software are customizable, affordable and allow access to the system from anywhere by using the Cloud.
Funding for Start-Ups
While virtual kitchens can be a huge cost saver for restaurants, they do require a location properly outfitted with the necessary storage and space for the preparation and packaging of food. Startups looking to expand into the virtual kitchen trend can look for help from funding sources such as Y Combinator. They provide much-needed resources for startups to get the tools they need to open their kitchen.
The Advent of Unique Concepts
Another unique approach to virtual kitchens is the use of Unfurl. This concept is meant to provide customers with a food hall that will deliver a range of cuisines from one place. Unfurl it's the brand that all food halls operate under and helps to minimize marketing costs.
The benefits of a food hall model are that many of the best restaurants can operate in the same place while keeping costs down. They don't have to interact with customers and can focus on menu creation and experimenting with new ideas. Customers will love this concept since they can order many different cuisines in a single order. This means that everyone in the family or friend group can get exactly what they want. Food halls are a convenient and simple way for anyone to try new foods and combinations. It can be useful for small groups and office-wide meals.
Unfurl is another new concept that can benefit by going through Y Combinator. It takes money to get started and Y Combinator can pay for those initial expenses in the first phase of a restaurant startup. Qualifying for funding with Y Combinator means that the idea has already been built up enough that it looks like a success and will likely be a good investment. In exchange for giving funding in these investments, Y Combinator gets a stake in the company that they fund in return. This can benefit both parties as the startup that is just at the beginning phase can gather the resources they need to flesh out their idea and turn it into reality, while Y Combinator can use the income from the stakes they gain to generate revenue to continue to grow their own business and further help out other companies.
Since both Cuboh and Unfurl have benefited from being accepted into the Y Combinator program, they should be able to continue to grow and expand while providing valuable services to customers.