Ghost kitchens are a type of restaurant that has no space for customers to eat in. Instead, they focus on selling and fulfilling orders for food online for delivery using third-party applications such as Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash, or with their own delivery operation. These restaurants are also known as ghost restaurants, virtual kitchens or satellite kitchens. They use third-party delivery services to get meals to customers, and listings of these restaurants on apps like Grubhub and DoorDash don't usually look different from traditional establishments. Grocery stores such as Walmart and Kroger are also adopting the business model of operator-managed ghost kitchens.
The possibilities of using ghost kitchens and home delivery as a marketing tool are endless. Many small food operators have used ghost kitchens to gain a foothold in the market at a time when opening a standard restaurant with a dining room would have been unthinkable. When starting a ghost kitchen business, it's important to do a market study of the surrounding areas. You can rent from an owner in facilities such as Kitchens United or Cloud Kitchens, which are usually found in densely populated areas. Getting on the ghost kitchen bandwagon can be a monumental decision for the future sustainability of your business. As with any major business decision, the pros, cons and potential pitfalls are things you should consider before investing money in a ghost kitchen.
High fees charged by major delivery services could be mitigated or included in the price, but food delivery companies that work in ghost kitchens could find a way to make a living. Ghost kitchens rely 100% on third-party delivery apps, such as Postmates, UberEats and GrubHub, to receive orders. As a newcomer, at first you may not be able to compete with the big brands when it comes to pricing, but there's no better way to learn than by doing. With such a low risk involved, it's no wonder that so many beginners choose to open ghost kitchens instead of crowded restaurants.