With the ongoing global pandemic, ghost restaurants (also called virtual kitchens) have quickly gained momentum in the hospitality space.
What Exactly Are Ghost Restaurants?
As its name suggests, a ghost restaurant is just that – one without a dining space. All customer orders are placed on the phone, or run through online food delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub and Postmates.
The Effects Of COVID-19
While COVID-19 has wiped out business for many restaurants, it has in turn accelerated the growth of ghost kitchens. In fact, Euromonitor predicts that ghost restaurants could amass to a $1 trillion global market by the year 2030.
In many countries, dining in is still a scarce option – meaning the only way for customers to enjoy their favourite restaurant meals is through ordering takeaway or getting food delivered.
With takeout and food deliveries becoming the new normal, they present a creative way for F&B businesses to get back to making a profit. Some even speculate that ghost kitchens may not just be a trend; they might even be around to stay!
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of running a ghost restaurant:
Advantages of Ghost Kitchens
If you’re a restaurant or owner, you’ll find plenty to love about ghost restaurants:
- Low overhead costs – Often, ghost restaurants operate out of existing kitchens. This means fewer funds lost to pricey rent, employing front-of-house staff, buying furniture and so forth. As such, this is an extremely economical approach for F&B businesses to bounce back.
- Further revenue streams – Luckily, owners of existing restaurants have two options: to rent out their extra kitchen space to ghost kitchen brands, or launch their own ghost kitchen featuring classics and spin-offs from their menu.
- Flexibility – As customer tastes and market conditions change, ghost kitchens are able to pivot quickly with operations simplified.
Disadvantages of Ghost Kitchens
As effective and cost-cutting ghost restaurants can be, they’re missing one vital element – the customer experience. This can result in:
- Delivery disasters – Though it may be no fault of your own, a slip-up in third-party delivery services can sit badly with hungry waiting customers. With no friendly face to talk to or remedy the problem, customers can be less forgiving and unwilling to place an order again.
- Lesser brand awareness and loyalty – As virtual businesses, it’s tricky for ghost restaurants to build customer relationships. For newer ghost restaurants or those starting up, this could be their greatest hurdle to winning business and standing out from their competitors.
- Competition – When appearing on a food delivery app, your ghost restaurant is simply on the same playing field as every other restaurant or takeout place. Unlike brick-and-mortar restaurants, there are barely any standout features like décor or location to market your brand or draw customers in with.
Stand Out With A Stunning Menu
With that said, one of the ways to outshine your competition is through a show-stopping menu. We’re talking menus that are creatively designed, full of great options and straight to the point – which you can create all for free.
How, you ask?
As the world’s revolutionary new menu maker, Menuzen lets you create, design and share menus to multiple platforms. This means more eyes cast on your online brand and more interested customers.
As an added bonus, Menuzen makes it easy for you to make changes to your live menus – with its cloud-based software ensuring all changes appear instantaneously.