The newest trend in the food industry. NPD Group research shows that restaurant online orders have grown 23 percent annually since 2013 and will triple in volume by the end of 2020. You may be thinking that you have a dish or meal that tops the rest. Got a recipe for pizza dough that tastes like heaven? Why not consider making some money from it?
There are several different names for this type of business. So here's a list of each term and what it means.
Virtual Restaurant: A delivery-only restaurant that uses other food production facilities.
Ghost Kitchen: Food prep facility made to support virtual restaurants and food trucks. Cloud Kitchen: Very similar to a ghost kitchen, could refer to a facility that houses multiple ghost restaurants.
Commissary Kitchen: Kitchen designed for large scale catering operations. Ghost kitchens are basically commissary kitchens marketed as virtual restaurants.
Black Market Kitchen: Almost always illegal, a black market kitchen is usually the same concept as a ghost kitchen but run out of a person's home. Often lacking proper sanitation and legal certifications. Black market kitchens are how some ghost kitchens start before going "Pro."
Turnkey Restaurant: A kitchen center that offers automated, on-premise ordering & dining to a variety of ghost kitchens and virtual brands.
Now that we know the difference between all the terms, let's talk about why this is important. People are becoming more inclined to buy convenient food that is delivered straight to their door.
Rather than go to a restaurant and pay a hefty bill for the same food. As crazy as it may seem, there is someone out there willing to shell out good money for Michelin starred steak to be delivered to their front door.
The next big wave for the food industry will be delivery optimization. We will see a number of new companies popping up, ranging from food packaging to POS integration. If you can make any step of the delivery process faster you will have a leg up.
It will be a race to see who will become the next Jeff Bezos of the food industry. The Ray Croc of a digital age. Because of the online aspect, ghost kitchens rely heavily on social media promotion. Since there is such a low overhead, this allows for a bigger marketing budget, as well as higher quality ingredients.
This will also open a new side to the digital marketing space as well. Whoever can sell one company's sandwich better will have more clients asking for the same. It wouldn't be a bad idea to start that food Instagram you've been thinking about.
Now is the time to build an audience around your dish or meal. If you make the best shepherds pie then start a blog and see how it goes. There is an audience for almost everything. I don't want to bore you with numbers. If you were seriously considering this you would be researching more about it anyway.
This is a business model that allows small-time chefs to increase profits and start expanding business. But like any opportunity, it will get very saturated and done to death.
That is why NOW is the time to act. If you know anything about the internet, its that there is always going to be a new way to make money that will only be lucrative until everyone is doing it. YouTubers who started in 2010 now have millions of subscribers and are living the dream.
Influencer marketing has become a new industry all on its own, you can buy a car straight from your phone, the future is trying to get your attention. All it takes is the power to persist. Plenty of people have starting energy, but few have sustainable energy.
This article is going off on a tangent about the internet, but you get what I'm trying to say. Start something. Especially a ghost kitchen.