These days, increasing restaurant revenue isn't about opening more locations. It's about optimizing your operations and catering to a market that wants quick, convenient, and delicious delivery!
Demand for delivery service is at an all-time high. Thanks to the pandemic, people have gotten used to staying home, ordering in, and enjoying their meals without the hustle and bustle of busy dining rooms.
Unfortunately, many traditional restaurants simply aren't built to accommodate a constant flow of delivery orders. Pair that with sky-high overhead costs, and restaurants have no choice but to rethink how they approach business.
First things first: What exactly is a virtual kitchen?
This term is relatively new, but it's making waves in the hospitality industry. It goes by many names. You might see it called a ghost kitchen, cloud kitchen, or even a dark kitchen. No matter what you call it, the concept is pretty straightforward.
Essentially, virtual kitchens are separate cooking spaces that restaurants use to prepare food exclusively for delivery orders. The unique names come from the fact that these kitchens don't serve front-of-house dining areas. They exist solely for delivery orders and usually serve areas with high delivery demand.
The best way to look at ghost kitchens is to compare them with e-commerce stores. They operate as a digital storefront but lack any physical location for customers to visit. Their purpose is to fulfill online orders and get them out the door!
Virtual kitchens are part of more extensive restaurant business with brick-and-mortar dining rooms, but many view them as separate entities. In many cases, ghost kitchens don't even share the same menu as the primary restaurant! Instead, they complete orders for virtual restaurants that operate entirely online and only do delivery.
There are a few different types of virtual kitchens. Here's a quick breakdown of what they are and how they work.
But what if you treated it like a separate revenue stream that supported your bottom line just as much, if not more, than your dining-room efforts?
Also known as incubator kitchens, these cooking spaces are usually on the smaller side. They're typically temporary spaces that help staff divide and conquer!
You may set up a pop-up kitchen in a separate area of the restaurant kitchen that you already own. Alternatively, you might order a food truck or set up a kiosk. Whatever you do, creating a separate workflow that focuses entirely on delivery orders is the primary goal.
It streamlines the cooking process and takes the burden off staff trying to juggle both in-house and delivery orders. With a pop-up kitchen, you can separate things to improve efficiency.
Many restaurants also use incubator kitchens to experiment with new food concepts, manage limited-time restaurant brands, or even cater to local trends and fluctuating demand. Pop-up ghost kitchens are the epitome of flexibility in the restaurant world!
Commissary kitchens, also known as shared kitchens, are among the more exciting new concepts in the restaurant business. Instead of setting up a pop-up kitchen at your location, you can rent space owned by a third-party company.
Think of it as an office rental space. But instead of computer desks and office equipment, you get all the prep and cooking space you need to fulfill delivery orders!
As you might have guessed from the "shared kitchen" moniker, these establishments often house multiple restaurant brands under one roof. They're also a favorite among pop-up eateries and food trucks.
Tenants renting the space share resources to cut back on costs and save everyone a bit of money. But, you do get things like storage, cooking space, and all the essentials.
The cool thing about commissary kitchens is that they can be temporary or full-time. Rent them out full-time to operate separate virtual restaurant brands or schedule time slots only when you need them.
Finally, we have commercial kitchens. These ghost kitchens are ideal if a big chunk of your business is delivery. It's also the go-to for catering companies and restaurant brands that manage multiple virtual restaurants.
A commercial kitchen is an industrial space rented out by third-party owners. In this sense, it's similar to the commissary kitchens from above. But the primary difference here is that you don't need to share any resources.
You rent out the entire kitchen and have a private space to fulfill delivery orders. This model is pricey, but it may be worth it if you have successful virtual restaurants to run.
Creating virtual restaurants with Forward Kitchens starts with creating a brand-new concept. While these new digital storefronts will be part of your existing restaurant business, you get the chance to build a brand from scratch!
The beauty of virtual restaurants is that you can market to a new audience who would otherwise not consider your restaurant. Think outside the box and tell a unique story that caters to every hungry customer in your area!
Forward Kitchens can help you develop a concrete idea that attracts business. We look at the competition, see what's hot in your city, and modify your menu to create specialized concepts.The more brands you create, the more exposure you have! Don't worry: We'll take care of the branding and marketing. Branding is a big piece of the puzzle, and we make sure that your virtual restaurants pack a big punch.
All you have to do is focus on the food!
Virtual kitchens and restaurants can help you see
more profit in many ways.
First, it gives you the chance to reach out to an otherwise untapped market. One restaurant brand can't appeal to everyone. Sure, you could try to mold your marketing and menu to appeal to the masses, but that runs the risk of turning generic.
Stay in your lane and let your virtual restaurant do the rest. At Forward Kitchens, we help you create new brands that appeal to a broader audience. Get your food in front of more people, and watch the orders roll in!
Ghost kitchens can also help you save tons of money by offsetting the costs of traditional expansion. Let's face it: Most restaurants don't have the means to open up several new locations. Doing so would only put your business at risk. But when you use ghost kitchens, the overhead costs are far more manageable. Rent is low, and you don't have to worry about squeezing profit margins out of every last item you sell.
Virtual kitchens are super cost-effective, and you can't overlook the amount of money you can save over opening a brand-new restaurant location. Many commissary-style kitchens even offer savings on ingredients thanks to the pooled resources of everyone using the space.With ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants, you can maximize your profits and create additional streams of revenue that beef up that bottom line.
When was the last time you checked on your kitchen staff? If you have a decent amount of delivery orders coming in, you may notice some hiccups in the workflow. It's not easy juggling both front-of-house and delivery orders.
Not only are there separate meals to make, but there's also the issue of handling tickets and managing the logistics of orders going in all directions. It can be a nightmare!
Using virtual restaurants and kitchens streamlines your entire operation. Ghost kitchens let you focus on deliveries only. But that's not all. Forward Kitchens can create simplified menus for your virtual restaurants, making things more manageable across the board.
Dense delivery menus make planning your supply chain and workflow a hassle. But when you develop a virtual restaurant, you can cut things back and focus on the most popular menu items.
A streamlined menu makes the workflow more efficient, speeds up fulfillment time, and gets food out to your customers much quicker.
Overall, virtual kitchens can be a lifesaver. Kiss those hectic days goodbye and turn your operations into a well-oiled machine!
Having a virtual restaurant and kitchen can take your business to new heights! It's getting tougher to expand and grow in this industry. But when you flip the concept of expansion and focus on a thriving delivery market, you can significantly boost revenue and see the success you want.
Let Forward Kitchens guide you through the world of virtual restaurants and kitchens. Contact us today to learn more and request your demo!
Those are just a handful of examples that show what Forward Kitchens can do. The concept of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants is still relatively new, but Forward Kitchens knows how to take full advantage of its possibilities.
Join these successful restaurant owners and reach out to Forward Kitchens today!