As ghost kitchens have skyrocketed in popularity, innovators and restaurant owners have searched for new ways to bring restaurants to the virtual world. Ghost kitchen markets are one of the most recent virtual kitchen trends. Virtual markets make it easy for customers to order from multiple restaurants at once, saving time and offering more convenience. Essentially, ghost food markets are virtual food halls--and an increasing number of businesses are hosting multiple restaurants under one umbrella.
What is a Virtual Food Hall?
Traditional food halls offer multiple restaurants in one building. Customers can check out the restaurants, order food and eat in a communal dining space. Like a food court, each restaurant has a small booth in the building. However, food courts focus on family-owned restaurants that prepare their own food instead of major chains with reheated meals.
Food halls allow customers to try different cuisines without driving to different locations. However, they'll still have to wait in line and regroup with their friends, which can be a little inconvenient. The COVID-19 pandemic has also made people more reluctant to order food in person. Fortunately, ghost food markets allow restaurants to stay in business and serve customers all day long.
A virtual food market like Kitchen Hub or Unfurl offers multiple restaurants under one umbrella company. Customers can visit their website or app to browse their menu. Traditionally, their menu features a variety of cuisines from different restaurants, including tacos, burgers, poke bowls, breakfast food and desserts. Instead of ordering separately from each restaurant, customers order everything at once and pay a single bill. This makes it much easier and more convenient for customers to patronize different restaurants.
How Do Virtual Markets Work?
Ghost food markets have a single kitchen where they prepare their food. Every restaurant cooks their food separately, then packages it together in a single order. Since ghost kitchens have no dine-in area, these facilities are closed to the public. Instead, customers order online and get the food delivered to their houses. Essentially, virtual markets have the same concept as a food market but without the physical location. Most markets start with a selection of restaurants, then gradually add more as their market gains in popularity.
What Are the Benefits of Ghost Food Markets?
The convenience for both customers and business owners has made ghost markets a rising virtual kitchen trend. Here's what customers like about ghost food markets:
- They pay their entire bill at once, making it easier to keep track of their spending.
- It's easy to support local businesses and enjoy handmade food.
- Everything is online, so they don't have to leave the house or spend gas money.
- Their food arrives all at once instead of in separate deliveries.
- They can try new types of cuisine without going out of their way.
- They have access to a wide range of cuisines, which is great when everybody wants something different.
- It's much easier to tip the restaurant or delivery drivers.
Launching a ghost food market or joining an existing market also has a lot of benefits for restaurant owners. Here's why an increasing number of business owners have jumped on the virtual kitchen trend:
- When they work together with other restaurants, they'll get help, advice and support instead of trying to survive in the industry alone.
- They won't have to worry about paying for waiters, hosts and cashiers or paying the bills for a dine-in restaurant. This makes ghost kitchens much cheaper and easier to launch.
- Customers will see their cuisine on the menu. Even if they didn't plan on ordering from that restaurant, they might add an item or two to their cart out of curiosity, increasing profits for the business.
- They'll be able to focus on perfecting their dishes because they won't spend half the day interacting with customers.
Overall, transitioning to a ghost food market could save an otherwise struggling business.
What's the Best Restaurant SaaS Application?
Every virtual market or ghost kitchen needs a restaurant SaaS to streamline the process. Cuboh integrates all your delivery partners and payment services together so you don't need to switch between several different apps. Schedule a free demo with Cuboh today, and learn what we can do for your virtual brand.