Ghost Kitchen Challenge and Solution: Do More With Less Space

The coronavirus pandemic magnified the need for restaurants to adapt to a new type of consumer. Whether today’s diner was created by an emerging demographic more adept at technologically-driven foodservice or one looking for low-risk, off-premise dining options, the shift has been clear. And it’s also here to stay.

One of the results has been an acceleration of ghost kitchen formats, allowing operators to make better use of smaller spaces without the need for in-house dining capabilities. Ultimately, this can lead to lower labor requirements and reduced rents.

Smaller spaces and less staffing can also create important challenges, though, and one of those is delivering on menu diversity. According to the State of the Menu 2021 from Technomics, there’s going to be such a wide range of trends compared to the comfort food-driven focus of 2020, it can be hard for any single operation to keep up. The report also mentions it might be silly to even try, as so many operations are actually focused on menu simplification. But, today, menu diversity versus menu simplification isn’t what we’ve always traditionally known it to be. Let us explain.

According to Technomics, the first recommended action for 2021 is to adapt to the different dayparts, mealparts, menu categories, and ordering options in order to stay successful. Even though an operation like a ghost kitchen may be looking to streamline the items on the menu, profitability is also seen when they address how those menus are provided. By switching a menu, for example, from breakfast to lunch to dinner, ghost kitchens can attract a wider customer base and become more profitable.

But how can an operation do that with fewer staff and even less space? By employing foodservice equipment that provides versatility.

If delivering menu diversity is a challenge for ghost kitchens, Middleby Marshall’s CTX Oven is a solution.

When you combine a wide range of cooking capabilities into a small footprint, and then you automate those processes, the result is diversity and profitability for ghost kitchen operations. This is what Middleby Marshall’s CTX Oven provides.

Using an automated conveyor system, the CTX Oven can help with grilling, baking, broiling, searing, steaming, and even sous vide cooking methods, all within a single footprint. This allows ghost kitchens to expand their menus as desired, but even more important, it can make meal service easier.

With the versatility of the CTX oven, it may be the only piece of kitchen cooking equipment needed. Using traditional cooking methods requires a lot of time, labor, and attention to the food being cooked. Conveyor cooking eliminates labor needed to continuously watch food, it’s preset and easy to use. Utilizing the infrared technology, there is no over or under-cooking, just the same consistent product every time.

mm ctx automation

Experience the space savings rewards without compromising food quality. Try one out today with your local representative!

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Topics: Foodservice Industry Trends, Ghost Kitchen