The kitchens themselves don't have a storefront and the staff prepares dishes from their menus that are only available for home delivery. Think of it as a virtual restaurant that works like a digital store, with some members of the company's staff working on online order fulfillment.
Ghost kitchensare essentially restaurants with no space to eat. Its purpose is to sell and fulfill orders for food online for delivery using third-party applications such as Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash, or with its own delivery operation.
As a result, they usually don't have a visible showcase. In short, ghost kitchens are physical spaces for operators to create food for consumption outside the facility. And in apps like Grubhub and DoorDash, listings of restaurants that operate with ghost kitchens don't usually look different from traditional establishments. For example, where I live in Northern Colorado, there's a restaurant called Rocco's Ravioli that appears on apps.
But Rocco's doesn't have a shop window. It's a food delivery service that makes food in a ghost kitchen. Here are some of the pros and cons that both restaurant owners and their customers can expect from ghost kitchens. Even national chains such as Chili's and Applebee's used ghost kitchens to maintain cash flow and try new menu dishes with different brands in case the ideas failed.
Ghost kitchens are one way restaurants can take advantage of the boom in home orders without wasting money on unused dining space (and all the costs involved in maintaining it). Also called virtual kitchens, in the cloud, delivery-only, in the shade and dark, ghost kitchens are a relatively new concept that emerged in the last two years. Ghost kitchens are food preparation operations without waiters, dining room or parking; in reality, without any public presence. One trend that I am seeing is the formation of central ghost kitchens, type of economato, with several restaurants or brands that work in the same physical space.
Ghost kitchens helped traditional restaurants recover their losses and minimize employee layoffs by allowing them to prepare food for several brands and stay in business. Some small food operators 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. Ghost kitchens and the food delivery possibilities they offer are key factors in the continued success of many restaurants. While the high fees charged by major delivery services could be mitigated or included in the price, food delivery companies that work in ghost kitchens could find a way to make a living.
These ghost kitchen facilities are not found inside a restaurant, so they only serve home deliveries. With customers adapting to the trend quickly and easily, ghost kitchens are likely here to stay.
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