What Will Happen to Ghost Kitchens?
How Ghost Kitchens Came to Be
When the pandemic banned sit-down service in so many restaurants, virtual alternatives popped up to take its place. In particular, takeout and delivery became extremely popular. Some restaurants opened ghost kitchens, either in addition to their existing store or under an entirely separate name.
Why do this instead of starting a new brick-and-mortar location? First and foremost, opening a ghost kitchen costs less than an entirely new, fully sized operation from the ground up. For some, they already had plans to open a second venue before the pandemic struck. Ghost kitchens fulfilled those dreams without breaking the bank.
As the industry starts to recover, the tables are turning. Ghost kitchens that started without any ties to a sit-down location are now seeing the value in it. Guests tend to spend more when they dine in, and interacting with servers provides a chance to set the brand apart in their minds, and cultivate loyalty. Meanwhile, your workers also make more tips and are thus likelier to stick around.
What’s Next for Virtual Brands?
Customers and businesses alike have seen the benefits of digitization. Moving forward, sit-down service will retain bits of what they learned from their virtual brand. For example, some may incorporate items from their virtual menu on their sit-down one too. Ruby Tuesday is that approach. Others might have been using a ghost kitchen as a sort of test, to find out if and what people would be open to their new ideas. Now they can start a full-service venue with a pre-existing base.
Not everyone chooses to turn their virtual brand into a sit-down location, though. Perhaps their success spurs them to open a second kitchen, closer to where clusters of delivery orders have come in. Perhaps they want to try their hand at a new brand that serves different food. All of this can be determined by examining detailed sales reports like the ones gotten through advanced Point of Sale systems. At eatOS, we offer automatic analytics that tell your restaurant exactly where it needs to put its focus.
ghAre Ghost Kitchens Doomed?
Despite how warmly customers welcomed the return of sit-down service, the fall of takeout is not guaranteed. Ghost kitchens will likely get less popular, but won’t disappear completely. More often, owners will simply find creative ways to bring their virtual and physical brands together.
With eatOS, your online store will connect to the same Point of Sale system as the rest of your devices. Get down to store-level details or compare various locations for the full scope of how you’re doing. Whether you manage ghost kitchens, physical locations or a combination of both, we designed our POS to optimize your food service business.