Why are ghost kitchens so popular right now?

In response to the restrictions implemented by the UK government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of ghost kitchens has boomed, as the demand for takeaways rose. Despite the end to restrictions, the trend has continued. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the reasons why.


What is a ghost kitchen?

A ghost kitchen, also known as a virtual kitchen, dark kitchen, or cloud kitchen, is a commercial kitchen that operates primarily for the preparation of food for delivery or takeout, rather than for on-premises dining. Ghost kitchens typically don't have a physical storefront or dining area and instead rely on third-party delivery services. These types of kitchens are often located in shared commercial kitchens, commissary kitchens, or repurposed industrial spaces.


Why have ghost kitchens increased in popularity?


Increased demand for delivery

Even before the pandemic, we witnessed a growth in food deliveries. With an increasing number of consumers opting for takeaways over dining out, the need for restaurant premises decreased, allowing food businesses to operate a takeaway service with just a kitchen.


Profitable business model

Restaurant premises require far more space, equipment, and furnishings than a ghost kitchen. Additionally, running a restaurant increases staff overheads, as you’ll need to hire front-of house-staff. Therefore, without the overheads of running a restaurant, a ghost kitchen allows food businesses to operate a food delivery service at a reduced cost.


Simpler to setup

Opening a restaurant requires the acquisition of a whole range of licenses, permits, inspections, and more. For those looking to start a food business, a ghost kitchen has lower barriers for entry than taking on a restaurant, therefore has an increased appeal. All that’s need to start a ghost kitchen is a kitchen, a working space, and branded food packaging. This makes it a lot easier to setup than a premises where customers can eat-in. That being said, you’ll need to effectively market your brand, to ensure your target market know that you exist. One of the factors in successful marketing comes down to strong branding. Custom takeaway food packaging will allow you to ensure that your business’ name remains front and centre, and help to encourage brand loyalty.


Rise of the gig economy

The gig economy has grown massively in recent years, causing a large increase in the number of delivery drivers working for companies such as Deliveroo and Just Eat. This increase in available drivers has equipped ghost kitchens with the means to fulfil customer orders and provide a convenient and efficient service.


Tags: ghost kitchen, dark kitchen, custom food packaging