Much has been said about ghost kitchens and restaurant trends in the last year. Which have evolved and taken new mechanics for the sale and distribution of food beyond the premises open to the public.

The ghost kitchen during this time has had an incredible boom. It is fueled by the isolation and high demand for takeout that it has brought.

The digitisation trend in the food industry is now reaching more and more hotels and shopping malls in an effort to diversify the number of options available to customers and make the most out of unused real-state and kitchen space oftentimes close to residential and central areas.

Food brand virtualisation is arriving to hotels and shopping malls.

Advantages of ghost kitchens in shopping malls and hotels:

  • Savings in initial costs. Not requiring as much space as a conventional restaurant might normally need, rental costs are often lower. In turn, not having to hire waiters means less expenses.
  • Better locations. Due to the pandemic, some professions are relocating to work from home, many of them will no longer have office jobs. This is why a location closer to urban development could be considered an advantage for food delivery.
  • Better ease when modifying the menu. Since the menus of the ghost kitchens are only in digital format, their modification and alteration can be centralised and happens faster.
  • Lower risk of contagion. With less interaction with the public, ghost kitchen employees are less likely to catch viruses such as Covid-19.

Ghost kitchen characteristics:

  • Most Ghost kitchens do not sell directly from an establishment.
  • They don’t hire waiters.
  • Their main advertising medium is usually social networks.
  • Orders are generally made through trusted mobile applications.
  • They consist mostly of just the kitchen and packing area.
  • They do not have or need furniture such as chairs, tables and bars.
  • Some have their own fleet of delivery riders.

The new horizons that are reaching ghost kitchens

With the new normal, after the pandemic, the takeout market has reached new horizons. The general idea is to include places where a significant number of different restaurant concepts are concentrated. This mainly refers to hotels and food fairs located in shopping malls.

The main factor of this new modality is to include the technology used by the ghost kitchens in these places. This indicates that the concepts of multiple restaurants could be at hand in the most popular delivery platforms.

Recently Kitchen United, a ghost kitchen company, installed its software and infrastructure in a California mall. The idea consists of not only giving food delivery users access to the multiple restaurants that are located in the shopping center.

It is also intended that the restaurants of the shopping centers and hotels have access to food of different concepts. Taking the variety of foods available in one place to another level.

How does this new concept work?

Adapting host kitchens in the hotels and shopping malls to a multi-tenant setup with several brands is the first step for a successful dark kitchen operation in these new locations. Besides that, choosing a software that allows you to integrate all your different sales funnels and manage this multi-tenant setup becomes crucial.

Some shopping mall operations are going one step further by adding a mechanic belt to carry orders to centralised pickup stations, one for mall shoppers and another one for delivery riders. Effectively saving hours of work from employees and improving customer accessibility.

Main benefits for customers from virtual-only concepts

  • Convenience: Easy access to orders from the mobile phone.
  • Choice and variety: wide range of meals available.
  • A shorter lead time reduced from about 20 minutes to just 3 minutes, according to reports from Kitchen United’s Chief Commercial Officer Atul Sood.
  • The possibility to choose between different restaurant concepts and receive everything in a single delivery.

The future is in ghost kitchens and takeout

Nowadays and with the new normal that implies less physical interaction, ghost kitchens are being of great help for both the restaurant industry and customers. Takeaway food has seen a huge increase in demand this last year and many restaurants have joined in this novel work concept.

That is why when envisioning the future, many restaurant chains will want to implement these concepts in their franchises; leaving us the possibility of receiving meals from different establishments and franchises in a single order.

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