‘Ghost Kitchens’ To Be A Top Industry Trend
They have to, or they may not be in business at the end of the year.
This is what experts in the industry are saying and one of the 2020 Nightclub & Bar Show speakers spoke of the trends and what independent restaurants are doing to survive and even thrive in this new era.
“The guests today crave convenience and are skipping traditional dining in favor of staying in and streaming from their favorite channel (Netflix, HBO, and Hulu to name a few),” said Donald Burns, Restaurant Coach, contributor and Nightclub & Bar Award-winning author (Industry Book & Author of the Year, 2019).
“In fact, they are willing to pay extra to have food delivered on their terms. If you have not implemented a delivery program, take-out, or curb-side pickup you need to jump on this now.
“I have seen restaurants that do 60 percent and sometimes more in delivery. Without it, they would have surely closed their doors. Increased rents are another reason that you can’t wait to increase sales to help alleviate the rising costs of doing business in 2020.”
A lot of these means will be prepared in so-called “ghost kitchens” in which all food is prepared to go; some regular restaurants are also preparing food for delivery through on-line delivery apps like Grubhub, DoorDash and UberEats.
Don’t knock the idea of the rise of ghost (or dark) kitchens,!” Burns said. “These locations are going to be the new restaurant of the future.
“Kitchens United has raised over $100M in funding to expand their ghost kitchen sites across the United States. With rising wage demands and a decreasing-quality labor pool, this is the perfect model for expansion or a new startup.”
This situation is a win-win for both customers and restaurants. For customers, who get good food delivered to your door and for restaurants, you lower your staffing costs while still making a good profit on the food.
“Imagine having a restaurant that serves food through an online platform only and you just need a few culinary staff to pull it off—talk about low overhead and high profits! This business model is primed to take off in 2020,” he said. “Kitchen commissaries have been around for some time for food trucks. Ghost kitchens are the next evolution of that idea.
“The model is a great one to think about if you even want to test out a new concept in a market. You can get a good feel for demand without investing a lot into a brick-and-mortar location.
“That could mean the difference between making it or not.”