If you are wondering what dark kitchens are, well, here is a simple definition; they are professional food preparation premises that are set up for takeaway services or food delivery. Dark kitchens do not allow people to sit down and have a meal as compared to restaurants.
The kitchens are also referred to as ghost kitchens or shadow kitchens. Over the past decade, many hotel owners have adopted this trend because of numerous reasons discussed below.
Here are some reasons why people prefer dark kitchens:
• They are very flexible
Since there is not much work needed to set up a dark kitchen, many people opt for this option. The amount of capital you would need to start one is relatively low, and it would be up and running quickly. Additionally, according to a survey, over 65% of revenue is channeled back to labor, food costs, and rent in restaurants.
That can be avoided by starting a dark kitchen, keeping the lion’s share of the revenue.
Lastly, since they do not require much space, dark kitchens can be set up at strategic locations with high traffic. They are incredibly flexible.
• They have faster delivery times
In comparison to traditional restaurants, dark kitchens will offer the client a speedier delivery time. That is because they are mostly suited for takeaway services rather than a sit-in.
Their services are quicker because the food is already cooked, meaning the client will wait for less time.
• Their easy integration with mobile apps
Dark kitchens are preferred because of their flexible nature. One can easily dial a delivery.
However, with the introduction of certain brands like uber eats and GrubHub, many clients opt to take this path. That is because the food will be delivered within minutes of placing the order.
Lastly, one may opt to develop an independent mobile app for the dark kitchen. However, this may not always be easy because of the logistics involved.
Aside from the advantages, here are some disadvantages of dark kitchens
• The reduction in profit
A decrease in impulse buying would mainly cause reduced profitability. In comparison to an in-house dining establishment, dark kitchens lack the persuasive factor. In a dark kitchen, a client already knows what to eat because the menu tends to be shallow.
That would cause a reduction in profit margin.
• Quality concerns
As much as dark kitchen chefs undergo the same training as restaurant chefs, there is always the question of quality. Chefs at a restaurant tend to be consistent in the quality of services they offer, while those in dark kitchens may reduce consistency.
Many successful brands in the industry have made a name for themselves because of the excellent quality of services. If at any point you compromise on that reputation, it will have far-reaching effects on the brand.
• Losing control of privacy and insights
Having a dark kitchen means collaborating with delivery partners. If the delivery partner owns an application, it would mean you have to give up certain rights to privacy and control.
Additionally, your kitchen may experience a sudden rise in demand for your products.
Collaborating with a mobile application provider may prevent you from accessing certain information like customer behavior patterns. With the loss of such insights, you may not be able to plan for your future correctly.
According to research conducted by NPD, mobile applications drive 39% of delivery visits. Additionally, they published that the takeaway food industry is now worth over 4.9 million pounds. The younger generation has attributed this growth as most want to request food delivery.
However, restaurants are also shaping up to cope with the times. Most have introduced delivery services to clients living around the establishment. Further, the restaurants have also improved their in-house dining services to retain their clients.
Undoubtedly, the future of dining lies squarely on dark kitchens and mobile applications that make the delivery possible.
Lastly, as illustrated above, food entrepreneurs can benefit a lot from this model. If you are interested in starting your dark kitchen and do not know where to start, visit Occupyd for insights. They will help you find a suitable location for your business and in the shortest time possible.