You may have heard the phrase, "there's no time quite like the present." This is especially true when it comes to ghost kitchens. The popularity of online ordering is ideal for ghost kitchen companies, which rely on online orders for the majority of their income. Considering that COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect standard restaurants by imposing limitations on seating, it's safe to say that ghost kitchens have been thriving.
What is a Ghost Kitchen?
A ghost kitchen, or a virtual kitchen, is a food service that lacks the traditional in-house dining aspect. Customers order food through web-based menus, never interacting face-to-face with anyone at the establishment.
While this idea may seem a bit unorthodox, it's appealing for a number of reasons. First, ghost kitchen start-ups have to deal with fewer overhead costs than a traditional restaurant. They save money by eliminating a number of factors, such as:
- Restaurant decor
- Plateware and silverware
- Full staff (servers, hosts, etc.)
This is especially advantageous considering that virtual eateries have the capacity to earn just as much money, if not more, as standard restaurants thanks to the increasing digitalization of our era.
How Do I Start an Online Restaurant?
After reviewing the pros of ghost kitchens, you may be wondering how you can get into the ghost kitchen trend yourself. There are several factors to consider beforehand.
Ghost Kitchen Menu
The first thing you have to do decide is what your menu is going to be like. Since there is no interior for customers to judge, your menu is going to be the deciding factor in whether or not they go with your business.
The cool thing about ghost kitchens is that you don't have to be rigid when it comes to your menu. The lack of a printed menu means you can be flexible, adjusting your menu items based on customer feedback, your ingredients and your desire to experiment with new dishes.
Ghost Kitchen Concepts
You can choose amongst a variety of ghost kitchen concepts, from a fast-food concept to a more gourmet concept. Do you want to serve quick, easy-to-make foods that are popular amongst online orderers, such as pizza or burgers? Or do you want to differentiate yourself in the market and serve something unique that's not commonly found in your area? The choice is yours.
Some ghost kitchen owners embrace a multiple kitchen concept, in which they cater to several menus out of one location. This may involve more effort, but it also expands the potential client-base.
Finding Your Location
Design is an important part of ghost kitchens. This is where you and your staff will be working, so you want it to be a pleasant environment. You can build a kitchen online using a ghost kitchen tool to get an idea of what you'd like.
When it comes to actually selecting your location, you have two options:
Owning your own virtual dining location is more expensive, but restaurant owners that have the money might prefer not having to worry about a landlord. If you'd rather rent, you can share the space or rent a private location. The former is less expensive, but it also requires adjusting your schedule based on the needs of other ghost kitchen owners.
Because ghost kitchens are dependent upon online ordering for their business, it's essential to partner with third-party delivery apps in order to reach consumers. Apps like UberEats, GrubHub and DoorDash have their own established client-bases for you to access.
One problem with delivery apps is that they can be very difficult to manage. Restaurant owners frequently find themselves running between multiple devices, struggling to keep up with the influx of orders.
Fortunately, there is a solution at hand. Cuboh is a platform that streamlines your delivery orders to one device, making it easy to process several requests at once. From sending your orders to your POS systems in real-time to alerting you about special requests put in by customers, Cuboh's got you covered.
The Best Time To Open A Ghost Kitchen
Many prospective restaurant owners have been hesitant about entering the restaurant business due to the volatility of this industry, especially in a pandemic-plagued world. With no concrete end to COVID-19 in sight, there's no telling how much longer social distancing requirements will continue to restrict restaurants. However, ghost kitchens don't have to worry about this.
Thanks to online ordering, ghost kitchens have been doing better than ever. 60% of consumers order food for delivery weekly, and this number is only projected to increase in the upcoming years. If you're interested in creating a ghost kitchen, now is the time! Be sure to maximize your efficiency and keep customers satisfied by using a platform that can help you manage all of your incoming orders, such as Cuboh.