Technology, competition, customer needs, and evolving conditions today have led to the development of cloud kitchens.
More and more of your restaurant customers are demanding online delivery. They want convenience and safety. Due to this, cloud kitchens, often known as ghost kitchens, are rising in popularity every day. (tweet this)
In this article, we look at saving money with cloud kitchens, and how you can benefit from this trend. First, let’s look at this innovative business model.
The Cloud Kitchen Model
The cloud kitchen is a delivery-only restaurant with no space for customers to dine in. You are only dealing with online food orders that customers place through your website, mobile app, or an online food aggregator like Door Dash or Grubhub.
You rent space to run your kitchen out of. And you only need to hire the staff you need to make and package the food.
Many restaurateurs are benefiting from the cloud kitchen because you are spending less money on a brick-and-mortar space, and you have more flexibility.
With the cloud kitchen, you can launch multiple brands all using the same kitchen. For example, you may have a restaurant selling Italian foods, one selling Indian food, and another one selling Greek cuisine.
The cloud kitchen allows you to use the same kitchen and infrastructure to run several brands at once.
Bottom line, instead of adding multiple cuisines to one menu, you can create three different restaurants from the same delivery only kitchen.
Why Open a Cloud Kitchen?
Many restaurant owners began exploring their options as restaurants across the country were closed due to the pandemic.
Others just wanted new options for delivery, or they wanted to explore other restaurant ideas.
In addition, more and more people are choosing delivery instead of dine-in options, so the cloud kitchen allows you to reach more customers than you would from your brick-and-mortar restaurant.
The cloud or ghost kitchen is a great way to leverage the power of online ordering and delivery. You also save money, especially if you don’t have a physical restaurant.
Cloud Kitchen Savings
You can save money with cloud kitchens in several different ways. Your savings come on property fees, staffing, and typical in-person restaurant costs. Let’s uncover the specifics:
Your overhead cost is lower. You no longer need a storefront.
You can explore new menu concepts quickly, keeping the good and ditching the unpopular. When doing this, you don’t have to print menus or update them.
Your cloud kitchen can not only sell from your website, but you can sell from aggregate delivery services. This allows you to reach many more people than you could on your own.
It’s quick and easy to set up your cloud kitchen. You don’t have to look for a great location, and you aren’t looking for signage and inside décor. You don’t have to buy tables, chairs, and dishes. You simply create your menu, get set up to sell online, and start cooking.
You reach more people because your offerings are only online. You can serve unique populations outside your target market.
How Can Your Restaurant Shift?
If you own a restaurant that didn’t previously offer delivery, or at least not very much of it, you can try your hand at the cloud kitchen.
First, you need to figure out how you’ll get your food to your customers. Will you do it yourself? Will you farm it out to online food aggregators? Or will you do a combination of both?
This is the first question you have to answer.
Next, you want to look at your menu. You might want to start several cloud kitchens, or you might just want to concentrate on one at the start.
You also need to come up with delivery pricing. Know what you’ll charge for a delivery fee, and how you’ll handle tips for your drivers.
If you go the route of a food aggregator like Grubhub or Doordash, you will be more visible to new customers. Do remember, though, that you’ll have to pay a fee to use these services. So, shop around and see which one is most used in your community and what their fees are.
Then, you can decide which best suits you and your customers.
How to Staff Your Cloud Kitchen
Yes, you will be saving money with your cloud kitchen when it comes to staffing, but you still do need a handful of staff working with you.
While you don’t need any wait staff, you do need people who are skilled in the kitchen. You want to trust them with your food preparation because without your brick-and-mortar restaurant, all your customers will know you for is your food.
Your food must be perfect because that’s what your customers will solely judge you on.
If you have multiple brands operating out of the same cloud kitchen, you may consider several different chefs, each handling a separate brand.
Most cloud kitchens can run with several cooks and a couple of helpers.
How to Advertise Cost Effectively
You don’t have a physical location, so you want to really build your online presence. This starts with your website and social media pages.
You can build both of these and save money because you aren’t purchasing signage and in-restaurant marketing.
Do keep your website updated and have links on your website so customers know where to order from your kitchen.
With the cloud kitchen or ghost restaurant, you have the advantage of being able to optimize your menu for customer demand.
Without a physical in-person location, you can adapt and adjust your menu as your customers demand it.
In addition, you waste less food, work only when it’s busy, and you can serve a larger audience.
As an added bonus, you can also save money because you can even share your cloud kitchen with others. Don’t forget you can also run multiple ghost restaurants from the same kitchen as well.
The pandemic has vastly changed the restaurant industry. For many restaurants across the United States, the cloud kitchen offers new opportunities and an option for success with definite savings.