Dark kitchens: know more about this trend in delivery
Dark kitchens are transforming food delivery and increasing the link between restaurants and customers.
What are dark kitchens and how to apply this business model
With the increasing popularization of delivery services, a new form of restaurants arrived: Dark Kitchens.
Also known as “ghost kitchens” or “virtual kitchens”, they are nothing but business dedicated exclusively to preparing food for delivery.
They don’t have space for customers and do not need many other elements common in restaurants, such as waiters, print menus or signs. In fact, many completely exclude visual identification in their physical space and function almost anonymously.
Sales happen online, through delivery platforms. There, they advertise products and take orders, with online payment. The food arrives in the client’s house via a delivery person, which in many cases is not an employee of the restaurant.
In addition, ghost kitchens can also operate on a partnership, where more than one establishment shares the same space, but each makes its sales separately.
The origins of dark kitchens
Even though the term is a novelty for many people, it’s not something entirely new. Many pizza places and snack bars already sold exclusively through delivery even before smartphones were invented.
The success of delivery apps changed the landscape of bars and restaurants. Nowadays, people prefer ordering something to eat at home than having the trouble of leaving the house, especially during the pandemic.
Businesses had to adapt their model to market’s demands not to lose their customers to an ever growing competition.
A consumer with less free time, who enjoys spending time in front of screens, is also more informed and likes convenience and quality.
The benefits of dark kitchens
Slowly, restaurants are seeing the many advantages of investing in virtual kitchens.
See some of the main benefits of this business model:
Less spendings in infrastructure
Dark kitchens bring down one of the main obstacles for those who want to open a restaurant: finding the ideal spot.
Before, you had to analyze well the address, local market and parking possibilities. But, when you open a ghost kitchen, all of this becomes irrelevant. Physical space serves only for the actual cooking.
Of course, it’s important to pick a place with easy access for delivery people. The tip is to have a central area in mind that is not too far from the neighborhoods your service aims to reach.
And because you don’t need a saloon for customers, you can invest in an well-equipped kitchen, set in a way that optimizes processes.
If your business is in a busy region, another tip is to reserve a small waiting room for takeout customers. It’s a good way to fidelize local clients.
Working staff optimization
With less focus on physical space, you can say goodbye to waiters and hire people that are specialized in cooking.
To attend customers fast and with quality, create a smart and complete production line, with a team of workers optimized for maximum efficiency in every process.
You don’t even need to worry about delivery people: Delivery365 solves that problem for you with an array of professionals integrated with our platform.
Not only you cut costs with staff, but you also make training much easier, and stop clustering in your kitchen.
Remember that those who shop through delivery apps usually research in websites and social media to know more about what restaurants offer and how well reviewed they are.
Because of that, an attractive social platform, with seductive pictures of your food and client reviews, has great power of influence over your customers purchase decisions.
Push clients to share their purchase experience, by tagging your restaurant’s social media. You can also use them to offer discounts and announce new menu items.
Don’t forget to link your e-commerce to close sales in a more efficient and fast way for both parts.
Raise income in times of uncertainty
This tip is good not just for small restaurants, but also big franchises and well known chefs.
The coronavirus has taken everyone aback: those who were already doing deliveries took the lead, while many are still running to keep up.
In the end, somehow everyone had a taste of the experience of working in a dark kitchen.
If you’re thinking of opening a restaurant, you can start exclusively with deliveries, to know your market better, and the slowly open for the general public.
More space for innovation
By investing in dark kitchens, you also have bigger room for innovation.
Offering seasonal dishes, testing new combinations, exclusive discounts and fidelization opportunities are easier when your clientele is online.
Say goodbye to print menus and work with an intelligent menu that’s adapted for each moment, and respects clients feedbacks.
You can also branch out. For example: a small café that offers homemade lunch and burgers by dinnertime can divide in two different business. Each with a different visual identity, and focusing on a different audience, something unthinkable in the traditional model.
The keyword is quality!
Clients wait each order with great anticipation. That’s why it’s important to guarantee quality in every process.
Think of food that’s still delicious and good-looking even after it’s been through the delivery route. Loosen up from your regular menu and think bigger!
Invest in packaging that preserves the original aspects of the food. This is still looked down on this as a small thing, but don’t be mistaken: it’s one of the most important aspects to guarantee success in your delivery business.
Want to join the world of deliveries? Know Delivery365, a smart and efficient way to bring your product to more clients.