Ghost Kitchens: Are They Here to Stay?
Also known as Dark, Virtual, or Cloud Kitchens, Ghost Kitchens are delivery only take-aways, prepared and cooked in an industrial kitchen, without a front of house element.
As with any venture, there are both pros and cons to this model, such as lower overhead costs and quicker launch times, versus the need to rely on 3rd party ordering and delivery platforms until brand awareness fuels customer growth.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was 18% growth and a value of £8bn attached to Ghost Kitchen operations in the UK, but now this industry is expected to exceed £19bn by 2023 (1) and globally they could reach a worth of one trillion dollars by 2030. (2)
In the Middle East and North Africa, 60% of Smartphone users have a food-related app on their devices, and 50% of those who do use it order food. (3)
The 2020 pandemic has largely been seen as responsible for the spike in demand for these services, with restaurants and eateries having to close for on-site custom and needing to switch to delivery or collection only methods, but as customers get used to having access to a wider range of menu options available to take-away, convenience becomes normal – and expected.
Spending on take-aways is increasing each year, and restaurants or venues that can’t provide take-away services themselves could utilise Ghost Kitchen services to ensure their dishes are still ordered and enjoyed by their customers.
(4) Household expenditure on take-aways in the UK
With this growth in accessibility and convenience, an estimated 1.6 million extra meals are sold each week due to third-party delivery platforms. (5)
How Can Hotels Make Use of the Popularity of Ghost Kitchens?
With restrictions still heavily in place at the beginning of 2021, hotels will need to look at new ways of bringing in revenue that doesn’t rely on occupancy and MICE.
Utilising your space and the functions of your hotel kitchen and restaurant could be one way of bringing in not only extra revenue, but also driving awareness of your brand, location, and services.
- 1 MailChimp, 2020 – Hunger Games: The Rise of Ghost Kitchens
- 2 Restaurant Dive, 2020 – Ghost Kitchens could be a $1T global market by 2030, says Euromonitor
- 3 Gulf News, 2020 – How Dubai’s ‘dark’ and ‘ghost’ kitchens are winning against COVID-19
- 4 Statista, 2021 – Household Expenditure on takeaways in the United Kingdom from 2009 to 2021
- 5 Town Square, 2020 – 2021 Food Delivery Statistics You Need to Know
- 6 Ed Tucker, LinkedIn, 2021 – Food Delivery Wars – the devil in the details
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