Don’t worry, we’re not getting ahead of ourselves and trying to celebrate Halloween in March – ‘ghost kitchens’ is the term used to refer to virtual or cloud kitchens, which are stripped-down cooking spaces without the dine-in option.
They’ve emerged as a business model thanks to the rapidly growing demand for restaurant delivery meals and the fact that not having to allow for walk-in diners dramatically lowers operating costs. But it’s not only start-ups that are opting for this model, established restaurant brands are also using it as a way to supplement their offering – ghost kitchens allow them to set-up cooking spaces away from high-rent areas, and meet the need for home delivery meals, without it impacting on their existing kitchens.
One of the first companies to choose this option was CloudCooks and its CEO’s open letter perfectly explains the motivation to do so:
‘CloudCooks started as a fun idea to have more of the food I love – delivered – cheaper. I've always loved to cook, but cooking or preparing meals every day is a lot of work. And often I would find myself eating the same meals, over and over again.
It wasn’t my original idea. Truth is, I wanted to open a traditional restaurant with my friend Adrian. I'm lucky he talked me out of it. The upfront costs, risks, and dependency on location (location, location) was frightening. The restaurant industry is super competitive, and way oversaturated.
Knowing what I now know – I would never open a traditional restaurant. Delivery Kitchens are certainly the way to go. They cater to everyone's needs. While giving chefs, restaurant operators, and delivery drivers way better flexibility and more choice.’
The food delivery market is expected to grow from $43 billion in 2017 to $76 billion by 2022, so it’s clear to see why start-ups and existing brands would want to cash in on the trend and invest in this option. And the concept has now also arrived in South Africa – in 2019, Darth Kitchens established a 400m2 facility in Cape Town that only produces food for delivery!
It will be interesting to see how this new phenomenon develops, but whether you are a traditional restauranteur or one of the new-breed cloud-based start-ups, the quality of your ingredients remains of paramount importance and for the very best non-Halaal and Halaal meat South Africa has to offer, you need look no further than N1. Their core values of quality, service and delivery will help ensure the success of any eatery, so give them a call today!