The Rise Of Ghost KitchensElla Nordell-Morris
COVID-19 has completely changed the world. We have adopted so many things that we were not accustomed to, and have been introduced to many new “normals”. It has hurt many industries and has become a cause of success in others. One of the sectors that has gained success because of the coronavirus outburst is ghost kitchens. We are here to explain the rising journey of ghost kitchens during COVID-19. Without any further delay, let’s get into it and iron out the crucial information about these kitchens and all the entities related to this concept!
The Ghost Kitchen Concept:
Ghost kitchens are the food factories that only work for deliveries. Due to COVID-19, restaurants were not allowed to provide their services for many months. As a result of this, ghost kitchens proved to be lifesavers. These kitchens are the food outlets that have the ability to prepare and deliver food, but have no arrangements for dine-in.
COVIDs effect on the concept adaptation rate:
Before the coronavirus outbreak, the concept of ghost kitchens was known to very few people. People enjoyed going to restaurants and hotels to dine-in and rarely thought of having restaurant meals delivered, so not a lot of people were aware of this concept. Now, people’s actions are limited and restaurants have not been able to resume usual dine-in practices. In such strict conditions, ghost kitchens stepped forward with a mission to provide the people with their favorite foods at their doorstep.
Ghost kitchens are becoming more prominent every day because they are increasingly well-known. More importantly, the leading dine-in restaurants have introduced these kind of kitchens so that their regular customers can benefit from their delicious food and meals even in coronavirus lockdown situations.
How can restaurants benefit from this trend of Ghost Kitchens?
When the concept of ghost kitchens was taken to the public, it was seen as a threat to restaurants and hotels as the strict lockdown made them unable to serve their customers. On the other hand, ghost kitchens were flourishing, so many began to think it would replace the concept of dine-in. But in actuality, this concept paved the way for restaurants to continue their business even in the strict lockdown. Ghost kitchens are a cost-effective way of earning through a food business, so many restaurants adopted this concept and stepped into this trend with confidence. The restaurants that joined this concept are now enjoying its benefits to the fullest. Some perks of ghost kitchens for restaurants are as follows!
Reduced restaurant costs:
The first benefit that the restaurants noticed was the reduction of many miscellaneous costs. Without dine-in customers, the need to hire more waiters, dishwashers, and hosts vanished. The only employees that needed to be hired were chefs and delivery staff. The demand for dine-in dishware disappeared along with their expenses and electricity bills fell with the lack of dining spaces to keep lit. These aspects, among others, highlight the ghost kitchen’s ability to be a cost-effective option for restaurants and people looking to start a side food business.
Brought restaurants back to life:
When people stopped visiting restaurants due to the pandemic, the economy of many dine-ins began to die. The restaurants who warmly welcomed the ghost kitchen trend were able to rescue their economy. Their ghost kitchen services gave rise to their monthly income. With fewer expenses, restaurants happened to earn more money, and in this way, the pandemic and this concept were all in their profit!
Data-driven decision making:
When taking orders and delivering them, the typical in-person customer needs are no longer a factor. This smooth flow in work helps you to enjoy data-driven decision making. You can easily scale your leads and accordingly serve your customers in a particular area to profit your restaurant.
Brought small food outlets to spotlight:
Ghost kitchens were able to bring small food businesses to light. The food businesses that had minimum space for visitors to sit and enjoy food began to deliver their food as a ghost kitchen. This increased their reach, and thus, they became known to many more customers. In this way, the local and small food businesses that didn’t have the finances to arrange a fancy space for the customers to dine-in are now thriving through this kind of kitchen.
Optimized sales and food costs:
The procurement process in ghost kitchen supports multiple buyers buying from the same suppliers. And this procurement process optimizes food costs. It also helps you in sales optimization with product catalog management, unlimited price groups for B2B sales, branded B2B, and B2C online stores.
Scalable Kitchen and flexible service:
Another great thing about the ghost kitchen is that there is no need to fight for customers’ attention with your competitor’s next door. This creates a smooth work environment without extra stress, and it helps you achieve a stable kitchen. That’s why this kind of kitchen is quite a peaceful job where you can have a scalable kitchen. Ghost kitchens also help you enjoy the flexible service that allows you to change the menu and adapt to local demand faster and cheaper with restaurant technology services.
Hopping on this trend of ghost kitchens will help your business to survive and thrive in this pandemic. You will spend less, earn more, and continue to provide the best food to customers. It is time to win the market, and if you don’t participate in ghost kitchens with your competition, you will be left behind by many restaurants. So, don’t delay any further; keep these perks in mind and step into the battleground to play your role!
What are the risks of participating in ghost kitchens?
Of course, nothing is perfect in this world and the same is the case with the ghost kitchen concept. There are some aspects of the ghost kitchen that can be risky for some restaurants and businesses. We wanted to provide you with a complete and detailed guidance, so here are some of the risks and cons you may face when you start a ghost kitchen.
More effort to build a brand:
If you do not have a pre-existing food outlet and you are looking to start a ghost kitchen, you will have to put extra effort into this project. We know that the market is loaded with food options, so you will have to face greater competition.
Bound to social media and the internet:
The concept is the ghost kitchen is completely dependent on the internet. If you do not have a stable internet connection, the whole of your efforts can drop to the dust. It is risky to start a business with foundations on the internet’s stability.
Another element to keep in mind is the costs of third-party suppliers. If you need to hire a third-party, the cost of the third party will be added to the deal, so your prices could be more expensive than other options in the market. Customers may prefer to buy from your competitors who do not work with a third-party for delivery. On the other hand, if you drop your prices to sell your meals at market rates, you will have to face loss. In this way, the ghost kitchen can be too risky for people who can’t afford their delivery services.
Less customer interaction:
When you add a new dish to the menu at a traditional restaurant, you are able to get instant reactions from customers that help you decide what dishes to keep or discard from the menu. In the case of a ghost kitchen, there is less or no customer interaction with the staff or management. So, it makes it a lot more difficult for the management to know if people like their dishes or not. You can only trace your dishes’ success with the number of orders you receive for a particular dish.
Food transportation issues:
Some customers of ghost kitchens report that they were delivered spoiled food. For some restaurants, there are many dishes on their menu that can’t travel the distances needed for delivery. When customers order such food, they can receive spoiled food, which causes frustration. Such terrible incidents can also prove to be a nightmare for your food career.
These are some of the risks you have to keep in mind before starting your ghost kitchen. You must be prepared to handle these issues so that nothing can be a hurdle your way!
What benefits have ghost kitchens made for customers?
Though ghost kitchens bring many perks to restaurant owners, there are also benefits present for customers. Overall, customers had a great experience with the ghost kitchens. With the in-app order ability, people’s favorite meals were just a click away. No need to get up and get dressed to enjoy their favorite food. With a phone and an app, people could order food in an instant and have it conveniently delivered. Ghost Kitchens proved to be a convenient time-saver for customers.
People associated with the food industry forecast that ghost kitchens have a bright future even after COVID-19. With this comprehensive list of advantages, disadvantages, and history, we hope to provide you with the information you need to decide if the ghost kitchen concept is right for you and your business. If you have a restaurant and if you are worried about its future, think about restarting your restaurant as a ghost kitchen and this pandemic will become a game-changer for your career!