Ghost restaurants have proven to be a business opportunity for companies in the restaurant and catering trade. The rise of delivery platforms offers the opportunity to create digital kitchens and supply a market that is increasingly used to shopping online. Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to many entrepreneurs, start-ups and restaurant chains setting examples in dark kitchens, with fresh, innovative visions. But how to optimise costs and manage the financial side efficiently?
As they don’t involve working face-to-face with the public or offering beverages, dishes or menus in person, the costs that the traditional restaurant business model are eliminated or significantly reduced. There is no need to maintain a chain of premises open, with the costs that this entails, nor the kitchen staff linked to providing an in-person service.
However, this does not mean that resources don’t need to be invested to obtain an acceptable ROI. There are other costs that need to be controlled to be able to work efficiently: kitchens and premises in strategic locations in large cities, electricity, kitchen staff, fuel, ingredients, food products, business software, etc.
If a suitable level of sales is not achieved, balancing the books may become a tough challenge for dark kitchens. Let’s look at some practical tips for restaurant businesses that are penetrating the dark kitchens sector so that they can ensure their profitability.
The costs of dark kitchens tend to be the main problem facing these businesses in their early stages. However, once this phase is passed, a high return on investment can be obtained and ample profits can be achieved, once the business has been consolidated in the market.
If it involves a range of lesser-known products, an investment needs to be made in sales and marketing to help give the brand visibility and spread the message.
The quality of the product and the logistical capacity to serve different cities and districts will be other factors that influence the increase in income and balance of finances.
In this regard, to ensure the viability of the project before positioning itself in the market, the business needs to bear in mind some tips to optimise the costs of a ghost kitchen.
The first thing you need to have is a business model that works. Design a product range that appeals to the public, look for the geographical areas where they can offer the best results and create a plan that allows you to gain visibility online to grow quickly.
Don’t miss the opportunity to do market research, since the essential goal is to achieve a consolidated dark kitchen with highly valued products.
Establish a pricing policy that allows you to obtain a high number of sales at the beginning, taking commissions into account.
Consider increasing the price gradually, without taking your eye off your competition. Depending on the quality of your product, your audience will be willing to buy it if it is unique and stands out from the crowd.
The costs of your dark kitchen may undergo numerous fluctuations. Increasing the price of ingredients may be one of them. All this will influence the margin you obtain from each sale, but you must find a way so that market ups and downs do not affect your positioning.
Try to reduce fixed costs, look for new suppliers, or look for ways to increase your sales exponentially to obtain greater profits. Planning and saving will be the keys to success.
You cannot let your employees’ productivity be drastically reduced due to poor administrative operation. This would dissipate your investment in tasks that do not generate ROI.
When you have multiple sales channels or multiple brands, low productivity unfortunately ends up becoming the norm.
That is why there are specific SaaS solutions for dark kitchens such as Bistrohub, which help you speed up and optimise order management, as well as integrate the orders that arrive through different channels in a single tool with an intuitive and customisable screen system.
Dark kitchen managers must be agile and make decisions that help minimise costs. There are brands that never manage to work, products that don’t sell as they should, or certain cities or areas where you don’t achieve the right level of sales to make it worthwhile.
There must be stringent control of processes in kitchen stations. Train your employees to avoid food waste as much as possible, ensure quality and provide appropriate cleaning in each phase of product preparation.
Keep in mind that both mistakes and successes can be influenced by virality, since your source of new customers is precisely the Internet.
Every decision made in dark kitchens must be backed by market research. Before expanding the menu, observe the results it generates and listen to your customers’ opinions. There is no point in continuing to invest in menus that don’t sell. Focus on those menus that are yielding the best results for you. Expand to other areas to provide coverage, or create new similar menus that can attract the same type of consumers.
In order that you can improve internal management and optimise the costs of your ghost restaurant chain or independent dark kitchens, we invite you to get to know Bistrohub in depth, the ideal order aggregator to better manage the costs of your dark kitchen and boost your productivity. Request a commitment-free demo now.