How Does Ghost Kitchens Work - Local Marketers Need to Know

By Rajib Hasan -- Sunday, 12 Feb, 2023
how does ghost kitchens work

What does a ghost kitchen mean? A ghost kitchen is a type of virtual kitchen, and it is also called a dark kitchen. Ghost kitchen is a food service business. If a customer picks up food from the kitchen, or food is delivered to the customer by delivery staff which is called ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchen is a separate food vendor entity that operates out of the existing restaurant kitchen. This business can be started at any place. If someone wants to start an exclusive journey from home, then it is possible to do. Before starting a virtual restaurant business, an entrepreneur knows how does ghost kitchens work.    

How Does Ghost Kitchens Work?

A question may come to mind: how does ghost kitchens work? Ghost kitchen working process is the same as some other virtual kitchens and it is also more similar to the restaurant kitchen. However, ghost kitchens are a type of restaurant, and the food preparation process is almost the same as the restaurant. 

However, ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens have no traditional location for customers to sit there. It means there are no tables, chairs, or other things for the people. This kitchen is just used for cooking food and arranging the food for delivery to the customer location based on the customer orders.

It requires a big space where different types of ingredients can be stored, stoves, tables for food arrangement, large space for ingredients, and others. Most ghost kitchens look for and deliver food for some people who don't visit the restaurant. Generally, food is made in the restaurant in such a way and delivered to the customer. However, the ghost kitchen working process is straightforward and easy. So, let’s talk about some crucial steps of how do ghost kitchens work.

1. Order Placement

Order placement is crucial for a ghost kitchen or any virtual kitchen. Most people make an order online. In that case, make a ghost kitchen digitalized or use a POS system to receive customer orders. A restaurant POS system can be the best way to place an order with food details. Most renowned ghost kitchens work with this process and it can enhance sales.

It is noted that whenever customers place an order they must give their location address and contact number to find them easily. Basically, there are two options: food delivery option by food delivery man and pick up option. If a customer selects the pick-up option, then no need to add personal and contact information.

2. Receipt Customer Order

Virtual kitchens work in a systematic way, like customers place an order and it will be received and prepare that food to deliver on time. Most restaurant management tools work in almost the same way. After receiving a customer order it is sent to the restaurant's chef to prepare within a specific time.  

3. Preparation of Order

The restaurant chef accepted that notification and let the restaurant manager know about the food preparation time. After preparing the food items, send it to the packaging section.

4. Food Packing for Customer Order

The food packaging section should review the customer's order and wrap it with wrapping paper or any box where food can be fresh. Before delivering this order must focus on the food quality and quantity.  

5. Food Delivery

Now call the food deliveryman and give him that parcel to deliver to the customer's locality. In that case, give the customer's address to him and send him to that targeted locality with that parcel.        

6. Get Customer Conformation

After finding the customer, deliver it to him and get customer satisfaction (positive or negative things). After obtaining customer reviews, a ghost kitchen owner may follow their reviews and work by following customer reviews.  

All these things should be monitored by the restaurant manager. You may have a question about how to manage the above things. Don’t worry as we have discussed above, these processes will be easy to manage if you have a restaurant management tool. There are many restaurant management tools. So, choose the best one that goes with your requirements and successfully meet the above things.  

How To Start A Ghost Kitchen From Home?

How to start a ghost kitchen from home

Those are new entrepreneurs. Most of them think about how to open a ghost kitchen from home or how can I open a ghost kitchen for a successful business. However, the modern commercial food market is going through shifts in current years to fulfill customer demand. Virtual kitchens, dark kitchens, or dark kitchens were popular during the world pandemic (COVID-19). Since then, it has taken a leading stage in the recent age. So, it is a profitable business, but you should apply some strategies to build your business. Let's see what you should consider.   

  • You must assess the market.
  • Select a kitchen location.
  • Choose the best food delivery app.
  • Set kitchen menu prices.
  • Develop high health and safety standards.
  • Higher experienced staff members.

You must assess the market.

The market assessment is a significant thing before starting any kind of business. Before starting a virtual kitchen, justify the market and try to figure out where the pitfall is. You may note something through your assessment, such as what type of food people like most in your targeted location, how you can deliver the food, cost, how many sales you can make each day, and others. The market assessment will give you the right conception to start your new journey.   

Select a kitchen location.

Virtual kitchens or dark kitchens can be located at any place. It is because this type of restaurant relies on the food delivery service. It can be opened from home. If a person wants to open it at home, it is possible and also saves rent costs. Ghost kitchen owners should consider a distance from the top customers before signing a lease. On the other hand, if you rent a room near the locality, you may have a greater chance of getting more sales, and ghost kitchen owners can minimize food transportation costs.

So, location is an essential factor in opening a ghost kitchen. So, find the best location suitable for you and get more orders to deliver the food.

Choose the best food delivery app.

Ghost kitchen's business depends on the food delivery service. Many virtual kitchen business owners use in-house food delivery services. There are some people who use third-party food delivery apps. But economic research says, “in-house food delivery services require a lot of staff to deliver the food, and it may enhance the delivery cost”.

On the other hand, most third-party food delivery apps offer more charges. But the food delivery app is superior to in-house staff. Most people use smartphones. If you have a food delivery app, then as a business owner, you may have a better chance to get more online orders. So, find the cheapest food delivery app and integrate it with your website that goes better with you.

Set ghost kitchen menu prices.

Virtual restaurant entrepreneurs should set a reasonable price. On the other hand, try to make a balance in menu price compared to your competitor. Generally, a business owner sets the food price based on the ingredients cost, restaurant employee salary and wages, delivery cost, and others. But try to keep a reasonable price so that no one despairs making a food order. So, keep the focus on that and set your delicious food price to grab more sales.

Develop high health and safety standards.

Food safety is an important thing for the food industry. Food safety is a mandatory issue for restaurants and other virtual kitchens. In this case, any food-serving organization must be certified by the food safety authority. However, if you become an entrepreneur and start a kitchen from your home, you must go through this process, and you have to ensure that you are highly responsible for serving hygienic and healthy food. However, there are some standards to improve safety, and health in the workplace, such as

  • Inspect your workplace continuously.
  • Create safety and health plans and implement them in the daily activities
  • Hold a regular meeting and ask your staff about safety implementation
  • Train the employees about this issue
  • Maintain daily, weekly, or monthly health and safety records

Higher experienced staff members.

Indeed most restaurant business success relies on the restaurant staff. However, such kitchens can be located at any place. You can start a ghost kitchen from your home, and you have to deliver the food on time. For this reason, you should hire employees with better skills in their profession. Suppose you require two chefs. Hire such a person who can prepare food timely. Hire a supply chain specialist who has better knowledge of supply chain. It is because a restaurant or kitchen requires lots of ingredients each day.  

Another thing is the delivery person. They play a crucial role in making a ghost kitchen reputation. Because after getting the food order, they must deliver the food to the customer's location timely. If they can manage time and bring the food on time, then you have a great chance to get more success within as short a time as possible. So, wherever you start your ghost kitchen business, focus on those things and try to implement them. We are pretty sure that by following his process you will grab more sales from the starting ghost kitchen from home or any place.     

Small Kitchen Appliance Storage Ideas

Small kitchen appliance storage ideas

Ghost kitchen is small in size but requires many appliances and ingredients. For this reason, a ghost kitchen owner should organize and decorate it perfectly. If you make smoothies every morning, then your blender most likely stays on the kitchen counter at all times. However, let's see some cheap kitchen storage ideas.                             

  • Create flexible zones
  • Store occasional items elsewhere
  • Keep countertops clear
  • Think vertically
  • Use drawers rather than cabinets
  • Opt for open shelving
  • Customize corner cabinets
  • Keep food in check

How Do Ghost Kitchens Make Money?

Ghost kitchen does not have staff preparing dishes and a storefront, but it is only for delivering the food to the customer locality. It can be done from any place. It can be started from home with a low specific cost. Let's see how much you should invest to open a ghost kitchen.

However, if a ghost kitchen owner would like to get more profit, search for new customers, get help from electronic media, let the people know that you are serving food, and many more ways. If you have more customers or get more food orders, you will get more profit, and you can grab the market. So, first of all, don't think about profit. You just let the people know what you are delivering and what your business is.

What Is a Ghost Kitchen Food Truck?

There is a combination between a ghost kitchen and a food truck. If someone delivers the food to the customer through the staff, we can consider it a ghost kitchen food truck. Basically, ready-made food may get in the food truck. 

On the other hand, if you have pre-made food or if you can prepare food in the truck based on the customer order, then we can also say it is a ghost kitchen food truck. So, a ghost kitchen food truck can be the way to the best food delivery service.

What Are The Advantages Of Ghost Kitchens?


What are the advantages of ghost kitchens

The virtual kitchen can be the best way for existing restaurant owners. Generally, small changes can create a big difference. It is a better platform to gather more experience in food serving, handling customers, leading a kitchen, preparing food, and many more ideas. If the ghost kitchen business owner gets more profits, they can move to the restaurant business or enlarge the virtual restaurant business. However, all the business sectors have many pros and cons. So, let's see some advantages of ghost kitchens.    

  • It requires less space compared to commercial restaurants.
  • It requires less space compared to commercial restaurants.
  • Virtual kitchens don't waste more food.
  • It manages food standards and consistency.
  • Capitalize on enhanced demand.
  • Ghost kitchen is a cost-effective business
  • You can hire servers to be convenient for dine-in customers.

Difference Between Ghost Kitchen And Cloud Kitchen

There are some differences between ghost kitchen and cloud kitchen but these are almost the same. Let’s try to figure out the difference between them.

Ghost Kitchen

Cloud Kitchen

1. Ghost kitchen is a virtual restaurant that operates to deliver the food in the customer's locality.

1. Cloud kitchen is a virtual kitchen but goes a step further.

2. It  does not have a physical storefront.

2. Cloud kitchens are equipped with many appliances like a restaurant and often housing multiple virtual restaurants under one roof.

3. It is a less expensive business and can be started from any location.

3. Cloud kitchens are more flexible than ghost kitchens.

4. Most virtual kitchens use a third party online delivery service to deliver the food to the customer.

4. It is also an online food delivery platform and uses third party apps like Bhojon, Grubhub, DoorDash, etc.

5. People can start a virtual kitchen business from home in a small room with low investment.

5. It can be started from home and it does not require more space also like a restaurant.

6. If a ghost kitchen's average monthly profit margin is 7%, the owner makes about 3.5% of the sales.

6. The cloud kitchen profit margin is close to 10% where restaurant profit margin is 3%. It is an attractive cloud kitchen benefits.

Does Ghost Kitchen Require Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, a Ghost kitchen or any virtual restaurant contains many appliances, ingredients, and other materials. For this reason, the ghost kitchen requires kitchen cabinets to equip the restaurant equipment. 

It is noted that not only ghost kitchens, all the restaurants and some other virtual kitchens require kitchen cabinets to decorate the pieces of equipment well. On the other hand, ghost kitchen business owners can use home depot kitchen cabinets to equip their kitchens and make them beautiful.

Final thought

Ghost kitchen or virtual kitchen is the best for the food delivery platform. It prepares food to deliver to the customers. Most virtual kitchens use third-party apps to track the customer and deliver the food. However, we have discussed above how does ghost kitchens works, which things you require to open a ghost kitchen, and many more. So, how to get success in a ghost kitchen? In this case, keep the focus on the delivery system and maintaining the food quality. So, start the business by following the rules and reaching your dream.