Rise of Virtual Restaurants Internationally

If you're in tune with the restaurant industry even slightly, you've most definitely been hearing a lot more about virtual restaurants over the past year. It's not like they didn't exist before that, but the Coronavirus pandemic has slingshotted them into the limelight, forcing restaurateurs around the world to adapt. We're going to go over some of the basics surrounding virtual restaurants, and what you can expect from them in the future.

The food sensation that's sweeping the nations

Just as the pandemic has touched every corner of the globe, so too has the rise of virtual restaurants. Of course, some countries have been effectively capitalizing on delivery since long before last spring. In the United States, delivery-only restaurants have been around for nearly a decade. The first easily identifiable iteration was executed by Green Summit Group and Grubhub in New York City, offering salads and sandwiches through a virtual restaurant as early as 2013.

Companies in many other countries were right there with them. In Europe, a food delivery service called Deliveroo began operating virtual restaurants in such places as London and Paris, as well as multiple other major cities across the continent. In densely populated Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, restaurants have been capitalizing on delivery for many years. Along with the rest of the world, they've also begun opening ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants in recent years, with much success.

The first easily identifiable iteration was executed by Green Summit Group and Grubhub in New York City

What does the future hold for virtual restaurants?

It's impossible to know for sure, but we can be confident that even if they decline in popularity compared to currently, they'll most likely still be more popular than they were pre-pandemic. Once it's safe to do so, many people will undoubtedly be eager to return to in-person dining, and we'll see a rise in that once again, so delivery-only food will take a hit. However, the pandemic has forced restaurants globally to improve their delivery systems, and this will remain. So too will people's knowledge that it's never been easier to order delivery than it is now. So, they'll still be more likely to order in than they were a year ago, as it's much less of a hassle now.

The additional good news is that even if virtual restaurants take a massive hit and some go out of business, they're generally a low-risk investment to begin with, so owners will be able to walk away without much lost, and probably a decent bit of profit gained.

Thinking you might want to throw your chef's hat in the virtual restaurant ring? Well, you're in luck, because we here at Forward Kitchens have got you covered. With the help of our team, you can use your existing operation, however big or small, to launch a virtual restaurant with multiple brands. This means you'll have even more chances to reach consumers, with even less investment.

We'll handle branding, website and menu design, and everything else needed to get you going. All you have to do is what you're best at: make great food (just for more people). If this sounds more like what you need, email us at hello@forwardkitchens.com or fill out this form to talk with a team expert!