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.
Ghost kitchensare one of the most important gastronomic trends that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the growing demand for food at home. Ghost kitchens in shared facilities usually have 12-month leases and revenues can begin almost immediately, Laura Rea Dickey, executive director of Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, told Insider. This reduces risk and allows franchise owners to test demand, he said.
Ghost kitchens are food preparation operations without waiters, dining room or parking; in reality, without any public presence. While ghost kitchens operate in separate commercial spaces that don't have a physical dining room, virtual brands operate in traditional restaurants that already exist. Companies create brands, which usually consist of a logo, a name and a short menu, and then license them to restaurants and bars, who execute the recipes and package them for takeout and delivery. Ghost kitchens also sell faster than full-fledged restaurants because they don't require a dining room or waiters, said executives from Nathan's Famous, Wendy's and Panera Bread.
With customers adapting to the trend quickly and easily, ghost kitchens are likely here to stay. In short, ghost kitchens are physical spaces for operators to create food for consumption outside the facility. 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. Famous Dave's is not only partnering with an external brand, but it's also using its Granite City restaurants to also add the famous Dave's ghost kitchens, with an opening in St.
Restaurants that have adapted to home delivery, outdoor dining and ghost kitchens that have allowed restaurants to bring food closer to the consumer at a lower cost of production are proving to be more successful than those that don't, Kelly said. The company said it can use ghost kitchens to learn about new locations before moving to an independent restaurant. 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. The Ghost Kitchens series is presented by Leer, a recognized leader in the temperature-controlled storage industry.
Since they don't need space to eat, ghost kitchens are smaller than full-service restaurants, making them a highly efficient real estate model, said David Bloom, director of development and operations at Capriott's and Wing Zone. But this ghost kitchen strategy quickly expanded the chain across the country to cities that weren't initially on its radar. Ghost kitchens may offer limited menus with more specific offerings, said Abigail Pringle, director of development at Wendy's. Some small food operators were using 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.
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