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| 1 minute read

Covid fanned the rise of ghost kitchens

Have you heard of ghost kitchens?......

Ghost kitchens, also called cloud or dark kitchens, are basically delivery-or-takeout-only kitchens. Ghost kitchens give chefs the opportunity to experiment with different menus without being burdened with sky-high overhead, staffing and other costs, and consumers get more access to high-quality, diverse cuisine. There are also commercial kitchens that provide professional cooking facilities for rent and allow companies to start restaurants without any of the traditional costs since there are no front-of-house operations (no dining rooms, tables or servers). Some Ghost kitchens even operate out of warehouses, lofts, trucks or trailers.

Covid certainly accelerated ghost kitchens’ expansion. To survive the pandemic, many restaurants improvised in ways both ingenious and desperate.... transforming into bodegas and bottle shops, repackaging their menus as meal kits, or selling frozen and vacuum-sealed meals. And for restaurants that wanted to keep making food the way they always had, there was only one solution: become a ghost kitchen, or hop onto an existing one.

When we finally emerge from our Covid cocoons, will our reliance (or to some, addiction...) to convenience of food delivery, keeping us from restaurants for good? It's a definite 'no' for me. I expect it’s going to be almost impossible to get reservations at our favorite restaurants; —every bistro, bar, movie theatre, art gallery and sports stadium will be packed with giddy customers, delirious that they’ve finally been freed from their homes and eager to spend money among similarly giddy, mask-less strangers.

Ghost kitchens can’t replace restaurants, but they surely have offered the industry a lifeline.

"Sales soared by 20% to 30% after the pandemic," said Yuki Yoshimi, president of Tokyo-based Ghost Restaurant Laboratory. “The end-to-end food delivery experience of aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato has made customers dependent on convenience of ordering food at home. Moreover, factors like improved packaging, delivery time and quality of food are encouraging the rise of food delivery,” he opined. “The growth of cloud kitchens is a global phenomenon. Even high street restaurants are depending on food delivery as a major revenue source.” ~ Karan Tanna, Founder CEO of Ghost Kitchens India.


ghost kitchens, cloud kitchens, restaurants food industry, virtual restaurant, food delivery