Ghost Kitchen Resources

Ghost kitchens are the new wave of foodservice. Are you ready?

Ghost kitchens are known by a range of names: virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens, dark kitchens, and commissary kitchens, to name a few. Foodservice operators have learned that off-premise dining trends and around-the-clock operation can be a profitable endeavor when more and more consumers are looking for takeout and delivery foodservice options.

As with any new trend, the concept of ghost kitchens can be intimidating for those who don’t fully understand what they are and how they work, much less how to run one successfully. To help answer some of these questions, we’re pulling back the sheet on one of the biggest trends in foodservice to help you better understand the basics of operating a successful ghost kitchen.

1 – What is a Ghost Kitchen?

Ghost kitchen popularity has risen over the last five years, with the bulk of their growth occurring during the Covid-19 pandemic. As one would expect, when restaurant dining rooms were closed, the prevalence of takeout and delivery increased. Today, even as we’re once again filling dining rooms across the country, consumers are still looking for off-premise dining options. Simply put, diners have grown accustomed to the convenience, and they’re not looking to give it back.

2 – Essential Ghost Kitchen Cooking Equipment

Successful operation of a ghost kitchen relies on the convergence of several factors, each impacting the others. A few of the most important ones are staffing, technology, and automation. Through the use of automation and technology, staffing requirements are minimized.

Technology and automation also create a more seamless cloud-based experience for customers, as well as helping operators maximize the use of a given space. How these factors come together will go a long way in determining how successful a ghost kitchen can be.

3 – Profitable Menu Design for Your Ghost Kitchen

One of the great benefits for consumers is the wide range of foods and beverages available within a single kitchen, without the consumer even knowing it’s all coming from a single source. For operators, ghost kitchens are a way to take advantage of current culinary trends and ever-changing menu preferences.

From coffee to chicken to soup, no matter what is served, developing a menu that saves time and is enhanced by automation can ultimately lead to happier customers and enhanced profitability.

4 – Building Ghost Kitchens with Technology and Automation

There are two words mentioned several times in other sections of this ghost kitchen resource page – technology and automation. The reason is they permeate just about every aspect of ghost kitchen operations.

They’re so important, though, they need their own section. If it wasn’t clear five years ago, it’s certainly obvious now. Technological innovations and kitchen automation are going to revolutionize the restaurant industry, so it’s important to understand why and how.

Experience Middleby Enhanced Ghost Kitchens

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