This may be the ideal time to open a new food concept!
By Laura Craven
Imagine you’ve always dreamed of opening a restaurant but the massive investment in the physical location, equipment, furniture, décor, labor, etc. was prohibitive. And, the time needed to build or remodel the space, develop the menu, train staff, pass inspections, and create a marketing campaign could take several months or even a year.
What if you could rent a turnkey commercial kitchen space for 10% or less of the initial cost to rent a traditional restaurant and hit the ground running within a matter of weeks? Impossible you say? Not if you use a ghost kitchen.
What is a ghost kitchen? Also known as “cloud”, “dark”, “delivery”, or “virtual”, ghost kitchens operate without the traditional front-of-house dining room and customer-facing store front. These shared foodservice hubs have been around for several years, arriving on the scene as delivery orders grew in popularity. Today, with dining rooms closed or restricted and more consumers adopting delivered meals, commercial kitchens designed for off-premise sales could be the answer for restauranteurs, both experienced and inspired newcomers.
The advantages of using ghost kitchens, in addition to the fractional rent, may include:
- Strategically located in areas near many hungry customers
- Parking and check-in stations for delivery drivers
- Tech enabled facilities to support online ordering and status communications
- Co-op purchasing opportunities
- Marketing partnerships with third-party delivery services
- Cleaning/sanitation services and HACCP support
- Flexible leasing arrangements
- Ability to change concepts with the seasons
A successful “virtual restaurant” still requires great food, hard work, and the ability to stand out in a crowded marketplace, but the barrier to entry is much lower.
Tips for a delivery-only model:
- Streamline your menu for speed and off-premise quality
- Offer unique menu items tailored for the demographics in your delivery area
- Use the right technology application and data analytics for your business model
- Price your offerings with applicable expenses in mind such as delivery fees
- Use high-quality packaging to preserve temperature, texture, and appearance
- Use tamper-evident bags and wrapped cutlery/napkin kits to ensure safety
Download the Off-Premise Packaging Guide
Today’s convenience-culture consumers are willing to pay more for having restaurant-quality food delivered. If you are interested in making your dream a reality, visit www.thekitchendoor.com for a list of ghost kitchens in your area. For a complimentary consultation on off-premise packaging, contact the experts at Imperial Dade. Visit www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you.