Dark Kitchens: The New Name in Food Delivery Business
The past few months saw a huge shift in dining habits. As the restaurants remained closed, many people were unable to eat-out and turned to online food delivery services to satisfy their cravings. Several restaurants still remain closed but with the restaurant delivery services on the rise, many of them are considering introducing dark kitchens to explore the possibility of expansion of their off-premise services.
Dark kitchens operate specifically for delivering food, often ordered online, and collaborate with services for food delivery Melbourne to get the order delivered. Recent times have seen a huge increase in this business model as more and more restaurants and even individuals are opting to start a dark kitchen business.
Dark kitchens have some advantages over traditional restaurant businesses and we are going to explore everything you need to know about dark kitchens here.
What are Dark Kitchens?
Known by many names including virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens, or ghost kitchens, dark kitchens refer to a unit or container operating in an industrial area that sells food only through delivery. There are no eat-in diners and the food prepared can only be consumed elsewhere.
Dark kitchens are fairly new and thanks to the success of online food delivery options available nowadays, like Uber Eats and Foodora, these have seen a huge market developing. Food businesses can connect with customers easily through these third-party food delivery channels and can quickly deliver food at their doorsteps.
Advantages of Dark Kitchens
As mentioned, dark kitchens are growing in popularity among operators because of a few reasons. Apart from being easily discoverable through food delivery apps, there are several other benefits of dark kitchens.
All property-related costs like rent, shop-fitting, or design are automatically eliminated in a dark kitchen. When you want to open a traditional restaurant or diner, you need to take care of the location and top-class staff, which are in general quite expensive to maintain. In a dark kitchen, however, you don’t have to bear overheads of maintaining a diner, like employ waiters or invest in furnishings, and thus the costs automatically drop.
Another advantage of dark kitchens is that you can easily experiment with new menus, concepts, and brands. You don’t have to consider the physical premises and thus can keep up with the ever-changing taste in foods. With a dark kitchen, you can easily and quickly shift from one concept to a whole new menu or concept in no time. If a brand is not working, operators can simply create a new one and try again.
Large Operating Area
Being online, dark kitchens have the opportunity of serving a great area from where it is located. If it was a traditional diner, people in the locality would have been your primary customers. But with a dark kitchen, your area of operating generally increases, without having to bear the costs of a fully-functional restaurant.
Disadvantages of Dark Kitchens
Along with the advantages, dark kitchens have some disadvantages as well. These are mentioned below.
Loss of Control
You are going to man your kitchen with your own staff like a cook and assistants, so the quality of the food prepared will be in control. But the logistics involved in the delivery can affect the food quality that your customers end up eating. So, when going for a dark kitchen you must consider what impact delivery will have over the food quality.
Decreased Brand Value
Dark kitchens lack the on-site experience and while that might be beneficial at the start with lesser costs involved, it does not really help in building a brand and value associated with it. Modern diners are willing to pay a premium amount for the brand they recognize and like but with the on-site experience missing in your dark kitchen, building a brand is never really easy with it.
The rise of online business models has introduced this new concept of dark kitchens to us. And thanks to services for food delivery Melbourne, these businesses are on the rise. However, if you too want to open your dark kitchen business, you must make sure that the food remains fresh and of top quality while delivering. You should also plan as to how to attract new customers and earn their loyalty even without a physical presence.