You know regular restaurants: brick-and-mortar buildings with seats, tables and kitchens.
Now do you know ghost restaurants? They are kitchens where you can’t ask for food, can’t sit and can’t eat. Then what’s so appealing about them? Ordering from them, from home, whenever you want. And for a lot of people, that’s enough: consumers report that nearly 60% of their restaurant occasions are now off premises.
Here are 7 things that ghost kitchens do, and that you should probably do too.
1. Ghost Kitchens Change Their Menu to Please Consumers
Virtual kitchens understand something: customers’ desires often change, and they need to change too to follow the game. Since these kitchens are app- or web-based, they are way more flexible and can easily change their menu according to trends and seasons. They don’t even have to change a single printed menu or sign!
This is something you could do too, by offering 100% virtual menus directly on your tables, in your restaurant. You don’t need to own a ghost restaurant for that!
2. “Being Afraid” Is Not in a Ghost Kitchen Owner Vocabulary
Delivery-only restaurants can take risks, ’cause if an idea turns out to be wrong, they can easily start over without any big financial impact… but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t take risks!
Don’t be afraid to try out new recipes, new methods or new technology to set you apart from competition. You’re worth it!
3. Virtual Kitchens Maximize What They Have
They know what they need and don’t need to remain profitable.
Do I need a big restaurant half empty most of the time?
Do I need decor or signage?
Do I need staff to serve or host?
What you can learn from it is that you may not need that much space. You may not need that expensive, yet fancy sign. And you may not need that much staff to run your restaurant, especially if you use an oven that needs very few cooks AND bake the perfect pizza (just sayin’).
4. Ghost Kitchen Owners Go Strong on Online Marketing
Since ghost kitchens don’t have a place to advertise, they need to innovate and be present online for consumers.
As a very real restaurant owner, you can learn something from it. If you have a place AND are present online, nothing can stop you. Don’t think of online marketing and advertising as a pro, but as a must!
5. Delivery-Only Restaurants Have Great Websites
Just like general online marketing, ghost kitchens’ websites HAVE to be easy to use, beautiful & comprehensive to help customers reach them and convince them even if they can’t be found on the street.
To stack all the odds in your favor, you should have a great website too. Remember: People often go see your menu online before even going to your restaurant… Blow them away, right away!
6. Virtual Restaurants are Always Available
Virtual restaurants can easily be open 24/7 since they don’t need a lot of staff to be run.
You may not be able to do the same, but it may be a good thing to rethink your business hours: Do you always have a rush when you’re about to close? Do you hear customers asking for expended opening hours? Do you think that you could open for a low demand on new operating hours?
That could be profitable, who knows!
7. Ghost Kitchens Use a Third-Party Food Delivery Service
Ghost kitchens are for the most part… well… only kitchens. So when it comes to delivery, they partner with a third-party food delivery service like Uber Eats or SkipTheDishes.
You could save a lot by doing it too. You cut down on costs, you save management time and you need fewer staff members. That’s worth thinking over!
What About Your Restaurant?
We hope that you learned a thing or two about ghost kitchens, and that you’ll maybe apply some of them to your own business.
If you’re interested in reading other pizza industry news, take a look at our 2019 Pizza Power Report review!