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Dark kitchen: what it is and what it can do for your business

You’ve probably heard the term dark kitchen. If not, don’t worry, we’ll clear up any doubts you may have about it.

This type of restaurant, which has been implemented with great success in countries such as Singapore and the United Kingdom, does not have a service like the one we are used to.

They are only kitchens that prepare dishes that are taken to where the diner is, whether it is his home, office or any other place.

Due to its simplicity and correlation with the times we are living, it is a business model that is gaining more and more ground.

Do you want to know more about it and its advantages to get into this business? Stay with us!

What is dark kitchen?

¿Qué es Dark Kitchen?

As we mentioned, the dark kitchen is a model of restaurant that does not offer service in a local

This type of business works in Internet apps, aimed at food delivery

The diner enters these applications, they order the dish from a menu, the food is prepared in a dark kitchen, the delivery man arrives and the order is sent.

Mobile applications ensure that these emerging businesses have the infrastructure they need, marketing campaigns to publicize the brand and the menu they offer.

This concept has two direct benefits:

  • The birth and consolidation, in a short time, of new establishments
  • Helps established restaurants attract new customers

On the other hand, diners have the opportunity to eat their favorite food anywhere, from the comfort of their home, during an afternoon in the park or a long night at work.

A little bit of history

Revisemos un poco de historia

Nowadays, there are two big platforms that promote and compete to dominate the dark kitchen business.

These companies, Glovo and Deliveroo, offer the service of ghost kitchens (as dark kitchens are also known) from noon to late at night.

The model offered by Glovo was born in 2020, under the name of Cook Room and achieved its expansion through cities in Spain, Chile, Peru and Argentina.

Since 2020, the British brand Deliveroo promotes its service in several cities around the world. It currently has around 200 kitchens in operation.

In Spain, the concept is relatively new, specifically since 2020.

Usually, dark kitchen cooks do not work for home delivery companies directly. They usually work for restaurants.

However, delivery companies encourage them to open their own businesses.

Under your model it is much easier. They do not depend on having tables, service staff, dishes, cutlery and everything else that is offered in a restaurant on a regular basis.

Do dark kitchens have a real impact on the world of gastronomy?

Las Dark Kitchen tienen impacto real en el mundo de la gastronomía

To give you an idea of the impact this model is having, we tell you the following success story.

As part of the restaurants that are part of one of the companies’ dark kitchens, there is the brand Poke Kitchen

It is a business that sells poke bowls. The dishes are prepared in the dark kitchen, but the marketing is 100% online.

In a short time, the business experienced great growth and consolidated itself in its market niche.

With the growth obtained, the owner of the brand has managed to earn the money needed to open an establishment and now, in addition to the online business, she offers the service in person.

Like this business, there are thousands of gastronomic entrepreneurs who use the dark kitchen to prepare their dishes and sell them at home.

How these businesses operate

Cómo operan estos negocios

With a traditional establishment, the dark kitchen defines the menu that will be offered to their guests and the type of customers with whom they want to achieve a greater reach.

The image is fundamental, therefore, each business must have a logo that will be placed in the application, social networks and Internet page.

From these platforms, updates on the menu, offers and discounts will be made.

Depending on the company the kitchen belongs to, the percentage of the commission for home deliveries will be defined and in which applications the restaurant will appear.

It is also important to decide with the limits of the area in which the domiciles are going to be made, the prices of the dishes and the schedule in which the service is going to work.

Finally, you have to take care of buying quality packaging so that the food that is delivered retains its temperature and presentation

Types of dark kitchen

Tipos de Dark Kitchen

The dark kitchen business is well defined and has a clear objective in its operation.

These types are as follows:

Managed by delivery companies

Ideal for people who have an idea, but do not have the resources to open a business in the short term.

For the operation of this model, there are pre-existing spaces rented to restaurants that are emerging and need a place to develop their reputation as a brand.

By signing a contract with home delivery companies for the use of the kitchen, restaurants also have exclusivity for delivery services.

These phantom kitchens are established in the most accessible places in cities. Therefore, the delivery companies easily collect the orders and make a greater number of deliveries during the day.

Autonomous

In this case, we have already reached the brands or cooks who have the resources to establish an independent business.

You can find dark kitchen that offers different gastronomic offers, established by the chef.

Kitchens belonging to an established brand are also contemplated, but they offer a different and special menu for the mobile applications where they are located.

In this way, they differentiate the menu of their face-to-face service from the one they offer over the Internet.

Phantom restaurant cuisine

The third type of dark kitchen is the one inside an established restaurant.

In this case, restaurants offer their dishes through delivery applications.

Dark kitchen or delivery revolution

With the rise of takeaway businesses and the health crisis we are experiencing, we may be facing a delivery revolution. It is not surprising that many restaurants are considering this route when they close their stores due to the state of alarm.

Whether you find yourself in this situation or because you see a dark kitchen as an interesting business opportunity, don’t miss the next posts to find out how to set up a ghost restaurant

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