You walk past the building and notice the unmistakable smell of ckking> yet, there are no windows into a seating area, no door welcoming diners inside. You start to wonder if you are imagining things. While that is possible, there’s probably a better chance that you have stumbled upon one of the many ghost kitchens popping up around the country. Keep reading to learn more about what they are and how they are impacting the local restaurant scene.
Ghost Kitchens Explained
Ghost kitchens are brick and mortar kitchens that are not attached to a dining room, but rather serve online or app delivery customers. Much like their name implies, these kitchens are incredibly adaptable; they can change shape almost instantly allowing multiple virtual restaurants to operate from the same space.
Some ghost kitchens offer the option to lease shared kitchen space alongside other chefs, making them friendly for new food businesses looking to focus on take-out only. They have been touted as incubators where new talent can experiment without having to invest in required commercial kitchen equipment New York City NY. In reality, they tend to serve more comfort food and fast-casual meals: Chicken wings, grain bowls, sandwiches, hotdogs and burgers are all popular items that come out of ghost kitchens.
The Impact on Local Restaurants
There are mixed opinions about ghost kitchens. Some restauranteurs appreciate their flexibility, knowing that ghost kitchens do not impact customers who prefer to be served in a relaxed and comfortable dining room. They are a potential threat to any restaurant that relies heavily on online or food delivery app orders. These businesses have valid concerns about the viability of their own business model.
Ghost kitchens are a relatively new concept designed to lower overhead for delivery-only restaurants. They do not appear to affect dine-in establishments much; however, they can have a big impact on other restaurants that rely on delivery and take-out orders to stay afloat.