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How Operators are Using Ghost Kitchens to Meet Spiking Demand

To better engage the explosive popularity of food delivery, many brands are eliminating their physical dining rooms and are shifting to an online-only approach to foodservice delivery, called Ghost Kitchens. What are the benefits of this approach and how can Kitchens To Go help?

Over the last five years, technology-driven food delivery has exploded in popularity, growing 300% faster than the dine-in market. Today, as brick-and-mortar dining locations struggle with a host of new challenges, well over half of U.S. consumers (around 60%) order delivery at least once a week. And the demand for delivery is still growing: current projections indicate that restaurant delivery will grow to a $76 billion industry by 2022.

To better engage this online-only market, many brands are eliminating their physical dining rooms and are shifting to an online-only approach to foodservice delivery, called Ghost Kitchens. Also known as Delivery Kitchens or Dark Kitchens, these virtual restaurants allow operators the flexibility to place their cooking facilities in strategic locations with smaller footprints, lower overhead, reduced payroll, and even the ability to run multiple concepts from a single kitchen space.

Kitchens To Go Ghost Kitchen FacilityThe delivery revolution is here. Create a modular ghost kitchen facility to optimize and expand service.

Benefits of Ghost Kitchens

The elimination of the physical dining area reduces the square footage necessary to operate, and allows for much greater location flexibility. With speed of delivery leading the charge in customer satisfaction, the ability to locate a cooking facility closer to a customer-base can be the competitive edge that operators are looking for.

Ghost kitchens allow operations to create a customized cooking space that is optimized for delivery. With a menu limited to those items that travel well, a dedicated selection of equipment can provide a streamlined workflow and efficient use of labor. No longer does expo have to run interference between the back- and front-of-house, they can dedicate their efforts completely to the kitchen and quality control.

Since ghost kitchens don’t have to worry about branded physical locations, operators can easily run multiple food concepts out of the same kitchen without worrying that walk-in patrons might get confused. Multi-concept ghost kitchens allow for greater engagement and experimentation to key in on the unique demands of a delivery area.

With the flexibility of digital-only branding, ghost kitchens allow operators to provide a rotation of concepts that match the immediate demands of the local area, current season, or hot trend without sacrificing a physical brand identity. Some concepts are even forming around limited time offers, such as Rachel Ray’s Virtual Restaurant series that was hosted for only 10 weeks in only 10 cities before each ghost kitchen converted to a different concept entirely. When a restaurant only exists as a digital concept connected to a brandless kitchen space, the possibilities are endless.

Digital-only branding also gives the advantage of real-time data capture. Every order that arrives at the kitchen is being tracked and recorded, allowing insight into customer behavior that can be translated directly into the ghost kitchen concept. The flexibility of digital menus allows for a lightning-quick reaction to the demands of the market, which operators can use to fine-tune a concept for peak engagement and efficiency.

Ghost Kitchens with Kitchens To Go

With Kitchens To Go, operators can leverage highly-configurable, relocatable modular cooking units to get as close to their customer-base as possible as quickly as possible. 

KTG’s modular units break down the functional areas of a kitchen into individual units (e.g., cook line, prep area, dishwashing area, storage, etc.), giving operators the flexibility to create the ideal cooking space for their unique ghost kitchen location. Equipped with energy sources and HVAC, ghost kitchens with Kitchens To Go are a perfect solution for underutilized or non-traditional locations.

Each Ghost Kitchen is equipped with state-of-the-art cooking equipment that can mirror the functionality of any traditional commercial kitchen, so there’s no sacrifice necessary when establishing, expanding or converting into a ghost kitchen.

Available for lease or purchase, Ghost Kitchens from Kitchens To Go can serve both short and long-term needs, allowing brands to pivot quickly in reaction to changes in the marketplace or expand further to capitalize on growing demand.

As the foodservice landscape continues to evolve, Kitchens To Go – the nation’s leader in interim and permanent modular solutions – brings nearly 40 years of expertise to bear in helping new and established brands take advantage of burgeoning opportunities in the market. 

We look forward to creating the perfect Ghost Kitchen that will Keep You Cooking!