Ghost kitchen has made a big splash in the restaurant industry in recent years. However, this new trend is not something to fear – quite the opposite. Ghost Kitchen offers
opportunities for aspiring restaurateurs to get involved by making it easier to enter the market and
minimizing risk. Established restaurants are also jumping on this opportunity to stay afloat in a fluctuating market. Here we will go through what ghost kitchens and what consequences they have.
What is a ghost kitchen?
A ghost kitchen, otherwise known as a shadow kitchen or dark kitchen, is a professional cooking facility that is configured solely for transportation or delivery. The haunted kitchen facility where the cooking takes place is often completely unmarked and can provide equipment and a workplace for a variety of brands / chefs at the same time.
With third-party delivery apps such as DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats making delivery easier and more accessible, it's natural that innovation and cost savings would lead to the only restaurant. Keep in mind that the terms ghost kitchen and virtual kitchen / restaurant are often used interchangeably, but they have differences. A ghost kitchen is more like a collaborative space for a variety of restaurant brands that rent out the equipment / space every month. A virtual restaurant, on the other hand, has already established bricks and mortar but uses its space to create specialized delivery menus.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ghost Kitchens
If you are considering opening a ghost kitchen, be sure to read this list of advantages and disadvantages to see if it's right for you:
- Low overhead
- Flexibility and agility
- Can test your cooking skills in various local markets before investing in a full restaurant space
- Unlimited growth potential
- Expand the delivery area of your existing brand [1
- Lack of bricks
- Can not serve curious walk-in customers
- Subject to natural shortcomings in delivery systems (eg food is harder to serve fresh, you will not plate and present the dishes , etc.)
- Due to delivery charges, prices for end users may be higher
- May be subject to restrictions from the kitchen area (eg delivery area)
Greater consequences for the restaurant industry a
Ghost Kitchen has caused some uproar in the restaurant industry. On the one hand, they provide a low risk path for aspiring chefs to test their creations on customers. But on the other hand, they do not provide a holistic dining experience that is more likely to drum up business through word of mouth. When you order in a delivery app, there is very little room for creativity in the brand – no menu artwork, no personal atmosphere and no personal and friendly faces that greet the customer. You click a few buttons and then food comes in blur boxes. A very new article on Grub Street points out that
“Ghost kitchens have been carefully designed to be infinitely adaptable and fantastically efficient … But what they really are is a trend that succeeds, triumphantly, removing all joy from action to eat. They lack all the features that make restaurants good … they are food logistics businesses.
So while it remains to be seen if ghost kitchens really are the future of restaurant business, at the moment they provide a very unique alternative for existing restaurants and a low threshold for future restaurant owners.
Social insurance is here to protect your restaurant
At Society Insurance we know that your business is your supply area and we are here to help you protect it. Our comprehensive restaurant insurance is tailored to the unique needs of your business. To find out more, contact your local Society agent.