What is the difference between cloud kitchen, virtual kitchen, shadow kitchen, or ghost kitchen? These are different names for the same concept, the term Ghost kitchen was used for the first time in an article in 2015 - widespread of the concept (and existence of various names for it) was during the COVID global pandemic as an answer for restrictions around the world as dine-in restaurants or fast-food chains suddenly had to adapt to the delivery-only solution.
What are the Advantages of Ghost kitchens?
It’s quicker and cheaper to launch a business if the customer interaction is virtual. You cut down on equipment costs and can start selling almost immediately. Advantages of cloud kitchens include:
Flexible menu: Being app- or web-based means you can change your menu focus whenever you like, without having to worry about updating signage or printed materials. If an ingredient becomes too expensive or is no longer accessible in your area, you can easily swap out your menu items to suit what is available.
Lower financial investment: Ghost kitchens eliminate several expensive elements that don’t apply to virtual restaurants: decor, signage, dinnerware, and additional staff members as servers or hosts.
Opportunity for experimenting: Ghost kitchens allow restaurateurs to experiment with new concepts, and easily scrap ideas that aren’t working with low exposure.
More efficient: Using custom-built spaces and optimizing processes specifically for delivery, cloud kitchens can run very efficiently. If you are operating several brands from one kitchen, you can batch-prep ingredients for several different menus.
Access to customer data: Since Ghost kitchens are designed to engage seamlessly across the full customer journey—from initial research to placing the order online to —cloud kitchens can optimize processes, ordering, and staff scheduling based on consumer.
Leverage third-party apps for marketing: Virtual restaurant brands can gain quick exposure through delivery apps, rather than having to market themselves.
How to succeed?
You must use the Advantages of the Ghost kitchen concept, with visibility of customer data, you can easily analyze what products are your bestsellers, the time frame when your customers order, of the area where the orders keep coming from the most so you can adapt to your data. Examples of apps that can allow you to enter delivery-only concept are Doordash, Just Eat, Postmates, UberEats, Wolt, Bolt Food, or local concepts like Glovo (operating in Spain).
Ghost kitchens don't rely on the atmosphere which surrounds your restaurant, or the atmosphere of your outdoor/indoor space. You need to develop a menu that contains around 15 meals that a customer can choose easily, and your kitchen doesn't have to hold very complicated range of ingredients. If you want to have a large kitchen with a more diverse menu you can create more virtual restaurants and cook for them in the same place (Italian restaurant + pizzeria, for example, kebab and fast food with favorite localized menu.. etc.).
Ghost kitchens do not rely on the atmosphere to influence the customer, what is most important is accessibility. Once you build a successful brand with a great menu, destination becomes another equally important aspect of this concept. People who use apps do not want to wait hours for their orders, and drivers don't want to climb to the 7th floor when picking up your next order. An ideal place for your ghost kitchen is a place near a heavily populated urban area (a small warehouse or restaurant with an already existing kitchen you can easily remodel) and an accessible parking lot.
What can Duke Manufacturing bring to the game?
Duke Manufacturing is a leading supplier of serving counters, steamtables, flexible batch broilers, and mainly hot holding equipment that can offer various solutions for your new or remodeled kitchen in multiple areas and foodservice segments. The key element of the ghost kitchen is the hot holding unit that Duke have pioneered for over 30 years.
Why is Duke hot holding the key equipment for Ghost kitchens?
- helps you to maintain efficient workflow in the kitchen
- your menu stays hot and fresh for extended periods of time
- enables you to cook in batches
- helps your Chef to focus on key tasks and priorities in the kitchen
- helps you prevent food waste (and save money)
- can fit in any size of the kitchen (you can learn more - click to Discover ReadyFlex)
Our currently offered product holding units are MUHC and ReadyFlex our latest model.