Tips for starting a ghost kitchen
18 November 2020
Ghost kitchens are the hottest trend in the restaurant industry.
Ghost kitchens, dark kitchens or virtual kitchens are the hottest trend in the restaurant industry. With the explosive growth in food deliveries driven by Covid-19, it was only a matter of time before a new kind of restaurant emerged. Ghost kitchens are optimised for the delivery economy that is driven by UberEats, Mr Delivery and Orderin.
Ghost kitchens have the advantage of Minimal startup costs, incredible margins and unlimited growth potential. This new opportunity is captivating entrepreneurs around the world.
Now is the perfect time to explore if the ghost kitchen opportunity is a good one for you.
What Is A Ghost Kitchen?
A ghost kitchen, simply put, is a delivery-only restaurant. There’s no physical space for customers. Orders are made in one location, picked up by a delivery partner, and enjoyed off-site. This means that ghost kitchens are heavily reliant on 3rd-party delivery apps, to get customers and deliver orders. It also means they don’t have to pay rent on the physical space that would normally be taken up by diners.
There are two main forms that ghost kitchens take.
1) The shared rented Ghost Kitchen
In this model, restaurants rent space from a shared kitchen space—often alongside 10-20 other delivery-only restaurants. Think Spaces, but instead of offices there are mini-kitchens, each hosting their own separate food brand.
These new ghost kitchen spaces are popping up in suburbs and cities around South Africa.
2) The secret back of restaurant Ghost Kitchen
Some established restaurants, however, aren’t looking to outsource their ghost kitchen experience. Instead, they run delivery concepts directly inside their existing locations.
Who Should Start A Ghost Kitchen?
The sheer flexibility of the ghost kitchen business model makes it applicable to a variety of food business types. If you work in one of these, you’ll want to take the ghost kitchen opportunity seriously.
- New chefs and entrepreneurs. It’s hard to imagine a lower cost way to test your concept and skills in a commercial setting. As an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to compete with larger brands on price or outspend them on ads, but there’s no better way to learn than by doing—and with such low risk, it’s no wonder why so many newcomers are choosing to open ghost kitchens instead of full restaurants.
- Small restaurants eager to expand. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably toyed with the idea of additional locations. Now you might not have to. Using a ghost kitchen, you can still expand your area of service, but you don’t have to risk an expensive new restaurant. This enables you to serve more customers via delivery, and focus on creating an exceptional dine-in experience at your restaurant.
- Established chains. Multi-unit chains, from regional players to global ones, are exploring ghost kitchens as a way to evolve with changing consumer demands. They’re the perfect way of getting food into expensive-to-serve locations since you’re only paying for a fraction of the rent you normally would.
- Food truck owners. By using a ghost kitchen, food truck owners can still enjoy the delivery opportunity without sacrificing quality of service for in-person guests, losing order time while in transit, or having to shut off delivery during events.
There are so many ways ghost kitchens can be used, but they all rely on the same thing to become sustainable, profitable businesses.
If you’re looking at setting up a ghost kitchen let us know and we will help you to find suitable space.
- Content creators and influencers. High profile content creators, influencers and celebrity chefs, can turn their fame into a profitable business through ghost kitchens.
If you have vacant space and are looking to convert it into a ghost kitchen, we have tenants for you.
See our available spaces at: https://www.spacematch.co.za/find-space