Dark kitchens, also known as Ghost Kitchens, Cloud Kitchens and Virtual Kitchens, refer to food that is prepared at separate takeaway premises rather than a restaurant. The quality of food is the same level of standard as restaurants.
The traditional restaurant relies on “Footfall Traffic” in order to survive. The better the location, the higher the rent that have to pay.
Whilst location is everything for traditional restaurants, Dark Kitchens can be set up off the main road in a warehouse. Uber Eats and Deliveroo have set up a number of restaurants to share individual kitchens under one roof. That allows them to save the costs of running a dining room which includes tables and chairs, the cleaning of tablecloths and serviettes and the wages for serving staff.
Without question, the delivery food market is growing strong, particularly during the COVID19.
Who wants to leave the house on a cold night in the middle of the week when you can now have ‘restaurant quality’ food delivered straight to your door?
The delivery app companies have deep pockets and won’t be leaving Australia anytime soon. As rent prices continue to increase, the idea of creating a delivery-only restaurant on the cheap will become more attractive, especially if you already have a successful brand.
So What’s The Future For Restaurants?
We can pivot to another industry, related to restaurants, that has had to make changes in order to survive – the movie industry.
The Golden years of Hollywood were the 1940s – 1950s. This was a time before television, and people went to the movies 3 or 4 times a week.
The advent of television, with a small square box had some effects on the movie industry, but Hollywood continued to produce the ‘blockbusters’.
Then came the video stores like Blockbuster’s and Video Ezzy. Now movie lovers could watch their favourite flicks in the comfort of their home. But it wasn’t long that streaming services like Netflix killed the video stores.
Somehow, the movie industry continued to survive. Gone are the local suburban cinemas that I enjoyed as a kid. They were replaced by the Mega Multiplexes with a dozen or more screens. These complexes attracted masses of movie-goers.
I believe this will be the future for restaurants. Gone will be the suburban, local standalone restaurant. Clusters of restaurants located near shopping centres, will attract the diners, and allow restaurants to share the costs which will allow them to survive and thrive. They will need to offer exceptional food, exceptional service and offer an exceptional experience.
Social Media Marketing For Restaurants