A ghost kitchen, also known as a dark kitchen, virtual kitchen, shade kitchen or police station kitchen, is a food preparation facility that specializes in preparing meals for home orders. It is essentially a restaurant with no dining seats or a commercial kitchen that has been optimized to fulfill home orders. In other words, ghost kitchens are physical spaces for operators to create food for consumption outside the facility. On delivery apps like Grubhub and DoorDash, listings of restaurants that operate with ghost kitchens don't look any different from traditional establishments. For example, in my hometown of Northern Colorado, there is a restaurant called Rocco's Ravioli that appears on apps.
However, Rocco's doesn't have a shop window. It is actually a food delivery service that prepares its meals in a ghost kitchen. In a ghost kitchen, you are cooking in an optimized delivery space designed to reduce unnecessary costs. The rent is low and the efficiency is high.
You have your own private commercial kitchen space inside a delivery center to prepare orders. It can be difficult to expand your traditional restaurant due to high overhead costs. However, since ghost kitchens act as satellite kitchens from their main base of operations, they can easily expand from coast to coast with little capital. Ghost kitchens are essentially restaurants with no space to eat. Their purpose is to sell and fulfill orders for food online for delivery using third-party applications such as Grubhub, UberEats and DoorDash, or with their own delivery operation.
As a result, they usually don't have a visible showcase. To put the value of a ghost kitchen into perspective, let's say you have a franchise restaurant and, due to the pandemic, you had to close. 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. Since your presence is digital with ghost kitchens, you can further maximize your exposure with several brands that are left without a single kitchen. If you're sure that ghost kitchens are the best way to increase your sources of income, here are some tips to get you started. Ghost kitchens provide you with premium real estate at a fraction of the cost compared to brick-and-mortar stores.
They are commercial kitchens optimized for food delivery services and require minimal investment and risk with unlimited opportunities to grow your restaurant business in the online delivery world. One trend 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. Each CloudKitchens ghost kitchen comes fully equipped with the proprietary software needed to offer better tracking and actionable data. These ghost kitchen facilities are not found inside a restaurant; they only serve home deliveries. The beauty of ghost kitchens is that you're in control of most operational aspects in addition to delivery. 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).
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.