Home delivery firms that are creating ghost kitchens
Some home delivery companies are creating their ghost kitchens. Restaurant chains are also joining this trend.
The boom of delivery applications, spurred on since the start of the pandemic, has encouraged the proliferation of ghost kitchens to meet the high demand for food home delivery.
These virtual kitchens have enabled restaurant chains to save costs and speed up their food preparation. As a result, the customer experience has improved, as the orders placed via apps arrive sooner and in better condition.
Until very recently, delivery apps and ghost kitchens operated as separate units, despite their close cooperation.
Now, however, some food home delivery firms have made the logical leap and have begun to set up their own ghost kitchens.
The opposite phenomenon is also happening: some virtual kitchen operators have decided to undertake the distribution of the food they prepare in their facilities by creating a delivery application.
For food home delivery firms, creating their own ghost kitchens means they can control the quality of the food they deliver and the speed with which it reaches the customer.
For their part, restaurants that work in ghost kitchens save costs, as the rental of their own premises is usually much more expensive, and they also receive more orders thanks to the apps of the food home delivery firms.
Let’s look at some examples of companies that are creating their own virtual kitchens.
The US food home delivery firm DoorDash has opened two ghost kitchens, both in California. They are called DoorDash kitchens, but each of them follows a different model.
The first includes five independent kitchens where four different restaurants operate. The building also has a shared warehouse and cold room, as well as a space where all the food prepared by the different restaurants is kept, for subsequent distribution or collection. The staff working in the kitchens belong to each restaurant, while DoorDash employees are responsible for maintenance, pick-up and home delivery services.
The choice of tenant restaurants was based on data from the DoorDash app on the most in-demand products in the area. It was also an important part of the equation that these were brands known by local customers, but without a presence in the region.
The second of DoorDash’s ghost kitchens is a bit different. It has just one large kitchen, which is shared by six different restaurants. In this case, DoorDash, in addition to handling delivery, collection and maintenance, takes care of many more aspects of the business, such as hiring kitchen staff and marketing.
Until recently, Gopuff was primarily involved in the home delivery of basic products for everyday needs. However, last year the company introduced Gopuff Kitchen and announced the installation of mobile ghost kitchens next to some of its microfulfilment centres, small centres located within cities where thousands of products are stored to expedite their delivery.
Thanks to these ghost kitchens, Gopuff incorporates freshly made food into its immense range of products. On its menu, Gopuff Kitchen includes pizzas, chicken, salads, sandwiches and coffee, among other options. To prepare these dishes and drinks, Gopuff recipes are followed and ingredients from local brands are also included.
All this means several advantages for customers and for the company. First of all, the customer can order at the same time cooked food, shampoo, detergent, disposable nappies, pet food, etc., all in one order.
For Gopuff, this wide variety of options could translate into a higher volume of sales. In addition, by having the products and the ghost kitchens in the same logistics centre, food orders are delivered to the customer’s home more quickly, in good condition and at the perfect temperature.
As we have mentioned before, the reverse process also occurs, that is, there are ghost kitchen operators who decide to launch an application to distribute the dishes of the restaurants they work with. One of those operators is Reef.
The ghost kitchen supplier Reef decided to launch its own app in Miami, with which it seeks to control the customer experience to a greater extent. Through this app, the end consumer can choose dishes from all the local restaurants that work in Reef’s ghost kitchens, plus ice cream and some other food products.
Until now, to order food from Reef’s ghost kitchens you had to use apps from home delivery services, such as DoorDash or Über Eats. With its new application, Reef is trying to increase its profits and not have to depend on these apps either for receiving orders or in the marketing sphere. In addition, Reef has its own delivery fleet, with which it aims to speed up delivery times so that they don’t exceed 30 minutes.
These movements in the virtual kitchen market highlight the great appeal of online home sales. Solutions such as Bistrohub have been created to enable restaurant chains and food home delivery companies that stake their future on ghost kitchens to improve their order management processes, supply control and data analysis to improve their customer service.