With that in mind, many restaurants owners are now looking at the way they are using their current real estate… why open a location and dedicate 2/3 of it to seating for customers when the reality is most won’t even step into the building to order in the first place?
Enter ghost kitchens!
The idea for these locations is more of a coworking concept; much like you can rent a space from Roam or WeWork for a short or long-term office need, you can rent or share in the cost of a kitchen-only restaurant, allowing you to focus only on cooking food for orders that companies like Uber Eats or GrubHub pick up and deliver locally. The benefits? These locations help the restaurants cut costs based on location, size, rent, and staff, allowing them to pocket more of the profits. Many of the multi-tenant style kitchens also allow for split costs, giving each tenant a smaller piece of the pie to be responsible for.[ii]
So, who’s owning and running these ghost kitchens?
Well… who isn’t? It’s no surprise that companies like DoorDash are opening kitchens and renting space. After all, they’ll be the ones delivering the food anyway.
There are also real estate companies getting in on the action: Simon Properties, SBE Entertainment Group, and hotel operator, Accor, partnered to found C3 (Creating Culinary Communities). They plan to set up kitchens in vacant retail spaces, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. But there are also new companies that are being founded just to open, manage, and rent out ghost kitchen spaces.[iii]
Does this mean traditional dine-in restaurants will soon be defunct and out of date?
Absolutely not! These “old fashioned” eateries are alive and well. Does this mean that next time you want to binge watch Netflix and order a 3-course meal from a local steak house, it’ll be easier than ever? Heck yes! Now that these companies don’t have to worry about optimized locations, serving staff, and on-site dining room management, they can focus on what they do best – making sure your steak is cooked to perfection and your ice cream doesn’t melt in the car on the way over. Sounds to us like a dream come true.[iv]