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Ghost Kitchens: Are Virtual Kitchens Primed To Revolutionize The Foodservice Industry?

Blurred background : Groups of Chef cooking in the open kitchen,customer can see they cooking at food counter, cooking chef with light bokeh

Ghost kitchens are the new trend and they’re becoming frightening popular!

Do ghost kitchens ring a bell? The latest, highly trending addition to the foodservice industry is something you might not have expected. “A ghost restaurant, also known as a virtual restaurant or cloud kitchen, is a foodservice establishment that offers take-out only. These “ghostly” eateries don’t have a storefront, so customers can’t come to pick up their own food. Ghost restaurants deliver food directly to their patrons, often through the use of third-party delivery services1

These ghost restaurants have emerged largely in part due to the explosion of delivery options such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash®. Other driving factors are rising rents, space constraints, and overall costs associated with running the front end of a restaurant.

“Ghost kitchen outposts offer chefs and restaurants lower overhead in terms of real estate and employment while also allowing them to try different concepts and make their food available to customers who might not otherwise be able to access it.” 2

(source: smartbrief.com)

One franchisee in Southern California cites his experience of saving over 50% of the rent for a brick and mortar restaurant by opening his shared-space kitchen in Pasadena.2 Even Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is utilizing the new concept by staging digital order-only areas within its locations to increase efficiencies.3

This shift could mean a boom for equipment suppliers as well as an opportunity for innovation. With all of the action happening behind the scenes, with streamlined service at the forefront and customer-facing technology taking a back seat, this might offer up the chance for foodservice equipment manufacturers to bring new — more efficient equipment to the market.

1 source: webstaurantstore.com

2 source: smartbrief.com

3, 4 source: bloomberg.com