This is the second -and last- part of the two part series, "The 2020 Guide to Virtual Kitchens", if you missed the first part, we recommend you read it first here.
Starting a Ghost Kitchen From Scratch
Like grandma's legendary banana bread, sometimes starting from scratch yields the best results. Ghost kitchens eliminate much of the cost, risk and concerns entrepreneurs have about starting a restaurant and instead offer a safe, lean alternative. Here are some tips to consider:
- Discover your niche: Passionate about Jamaican and Asian fusion? Want to create a farm-to-door (instead of farm-to-table) business model? Hope to share your family's all-time favorite food with a broader audience? Whatever your niche, define it to differentiate your brand from the next.
- Learn and follow local regulations: Just because ghost kitchens are relatively easy and cost-effective to launch doesn't mean you're immune from following safety standards and regulations. Learn about the laws that pertain to your location and business, and make sure you follow them to the letter.
- Invest in a virtual franchise: If you're not quite ready to go out on your own limb, you have the option to invest in virtual franchises instead. Take your idea and implement it by associating yourself with a knowledgeable partner. In Europe, there’s visionary players such as Virtuateur who are going beyond dark kitchens and offer virtual restaurant franchising, virtual restaurant training and even consulting, assisting restaurateurs in the best way to implement and market their delivery strategy. If you're based in the United States or Canada, groups like Kitchen United will help you get your idea off the ground; maybe even Uber Eats will provide assistance.
Incorporating a Ghost Kitchen Into Your Food Business
Making more money and living the dream of owning a successful restaurant business is absolutely possible. Take Simon Mikhail, for example, owner of Si-Pie. What started as a Chicago-based pizzeria with a clearly defined niche transformed into a bustling business with multiple locations, spurred in part by increased exposure and sales via third-party delivery apps such as GrubHub.
Another entrepreneur, Joel Farmer, experienced a lack of demand for his hand-crafted burgers in Brooklyn, New York, before being approached by Uber Eats. He reimagined his existing kitchen to create craft burgers and launched a virtual restaurant, The Brooklyn Burger Factory, which now does 28x as much business as his original concept.
If you already own or operate a restaurant and want the third-party delivery business to work for you, there are a few things you should know to be successful like Joel and Simon. Here are some insights from experienced ghost restauranteurs:
- Diversify your app use: If you truly want to increase business, you need to diversify your delivery portfolio by partnering with a variety of third-party delivery services. Research the most popular apps in your area, but these will typically include Bite Squad, Uber Eats, GrubHub and Doordash and the like.
- Know the costs: Any successful business owner needs to fully understand the costs associated with third-party delivery partners in order to price their fare correctly and profitably. Consider the fees delivery partners charge when setting your prices.
- There is a tech investment involved: When you're working with multiple delivery partners and possibly multiple menus, you need to have the hardware and knowledge to operate all apps or devices you may need. This can get complicated, which is why you need to plan for it.
- Test and iterate: To make a ghost kitchen highly profitable and minimally challenging, you may need to test certain ideas. Try limiting your virtual menu to items that are fast and cheap to make or playing with open/availability times to maximize sales in a shorter window.
Use Cuboh to manage everything from multiple third-party delivery apps to changing menus without spending additional overhead and time on various devices. Cuboh simplifies the process of running a ghost kitchen without sacrificing your existing business or giving mixed messages to customers. Streamline communication to everyone using a third-party delivery app (delivery drivers and customers alike) while keeping your digital presence on-brand.
The All-in-One Solution to Tech-Heavy Delivery Partner Management
The easiest way to juggle multiple delivery partners while maximizing ROI is to bundle all the apps and requirements into one device. Like a caped superhero, Cuboh arrives to save the day. With Cuboh, the headache that comes with managing different tech, processes and payment methods for multiple third-party delivery apps disappears.
Cuboh eliminates the friction that comes with app management by combining all delivery apps into one device. It also provides order management through POS and printer integration so your line is never in the weeds when trying to fulfill orders from many apps.
Put simply, Cuboh is the solution all ghost kitchen operators never knew they needed. Until now. Check it out and discover how simple it can be to make more money with third-party delivery apps.