Pandemic restrictions as a result of COVID-19 posed an incredible challenge for dine-in restaurants this past year. However, in order to keep their businesses alive, restaurants resorted to a restaurant-to-consumer delivery strategy. The results have been overwhelmingly positive. So much so that some restaurants have transitioned into operating strictly out of ghost kitchens.
Ghost kitchens are a growing and innovative trend in the restaurant business. Rather than occupying a traditional storefront decorated with your typical restaurant furniture and amenities (tables, chairs, menus, waiters and waitresses, etc.), ghost kitchens operate out of a much smaller property and focus strictly on the preparing of food orders that are then delivered by third-party food delivery services or a restaurant’s own delivery service team. Research has indicated that this market could see a value of over $1 trillion by 2030.
Ghost kitchens are capable of transforming the traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant experience to a digital one, similarly to what Amazon did to the traditional bookstore experience. However, the difference is this strategy is not meant to corner any restaurant out of the industry. Rather, it’s meant to strengthen businesses and widen their availability to potential customers.
If you’re a restaurant owner or manager not entirely sold on the ghost kitchen strategy, the featured resource with this post is essential in fully understanding its benefits. For new restaurants in the industry, defaulting right to a ghost kitchen could be a means to accelerated success. Typically, the best way to go about establishing a ghost kitchen is by scouting out rentable spaces in your local area. However, if you already have an existing space that was previously used for regular restaurant dining, you’re still able to use it. What you’ll need to prioritize then is being able to adequately separate the dine-in experience and operations from the delivery operations.
It’s not hard to see the advantages of a ghost kitchen, even for long-standing local businesses with a loyal customer base. Not having to subject your customers to an unsafe experience to enjoy your food goes a long way. Even if your restaurant is new to delivering, there are third-party delivery services that are able to handle this side of the business entirely so your restaurant can focus on just producing quality food. In addition to this, not offering a dine-in experience means your management structure can be simplified. Your operating costs could see a substantial decline. Not to mention, prices can be tested and adjusted more accurately to gauge the best strategy in regards to revenues and profits.
While plenty remain unsure about how long the popularity surrounding restaurant-to-consumer delivery will be post-pandemic, ghost kitchens in particular would still succeed. Largely in part due to how common food delivery has become as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. The convenience is unmatched, and many will still default to delivery even after restrictions are lifted. In addition to this, younger American generations have an established preference for a digital experience rather than a physical one. Being able to provide this demographic with an easier ordering and delivery process is key as this demographic continues to grow and their spending power increases over time.
For additional information on how a ghost kitchen could work for your business, check out the featured infographic below. Courtesy of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Franchise.