Article contributed by Danielle Fantasia, Sales & Marketing, for Motion Technology Inc.
It has been quite the year for the foodservice industry. Restaurants are struggling trying to adhere to the ever-changing guidelines. Some unfortunately have shuttered; and many have reimagined their concepts to fit the new normal.
The pandemic has changed the way people choose to dine. Long after the dust settles and things slowly fall back into place, people may still have reservations regarding in person dining. Ghost kitchens, or virtual kitchens have proven to be a gradually effective form of recovery for the ailing industry.
What does all this mean for the future of restaurants? Well, to be blunt, it means that owners and operators must find new ways to stay open. Delivery and takeout have become a preferred choice for many and is expected to only rise in popularity in 2021. If the people will not come to the food, bring the food to the people.
If you plan on adding a ghost kitchen to an existing establishment there are certain benefits. Being able to occupy an unused area in your building is great for prep work or storing supplies. Instead of having to hire new employees you can try to make use of your current staff, maybe even opening the door for them to be utilized in a different capacity. All these things can lead to incremental revenue.
What about starting from scratch? Building your virtual business from the bottom up can seem daunting, but there are pros to popping up shop. One of the most obvious benefits is the difference in occupancy costs. Without a dining area the space needed to run a successful virtual foodservice program is much smaller than your typical restaurant, which means paying a lot less in rent. You can also save on labor costs. No need to hire an entire force, just focus on arming your kitchen.
Speaking of arming your kitchen, making sure you have the right equipment is essential to running a profitable ghost kitchen. Hoodless fryers and ovens, like the AutoFry and MultiChef XL do not require vents or hoods, sparing owners and operators on high installation and maintenance costs. Not to mention they are so easy to use that any employee can operate them, saving on labor costs and allowing funds to be implemented in different areas.
Now, we know ghost kitchens are not going to save the foodservice industry on its own, but it will certainly be a concept that inspires new restaurant standards for the future.