Delivery services are booming, and not just since Corona. According to Statista, turnover in the German market will grow to around 392.8 million euros by 2024. Best conditions for Ghost Kitchens – restaurants without physical guest rooms, without service personnel, often without pick-up facilities and sometimes even without their own kitchen.
The offer of a Ghost Kitchen is not limited to one brand, but usually includes a large portfolio of different brands. The advantages: efficient use of resources, savings on expensive restaurant rents, or lower expenditure on personnel.
The success of the Ghost Kitchens also creates opportunities for new business models such as Cloud Kitchens or further developments of food delivery services. How are these three concepts related? What are the differences between Ghost and Cloud Kitchens?
These are exactly the questions we answer in this article with three practical examples: Keatz, Kitopi and Uber Eats.
Ghost Kitchens are brands based on a “delivery only” concept. Service and seats are not available here. For this reason, several brands are often placed in one kitchen. The advantages: No expensive rents for a particularly hip location, flexible design of the dishes (if a dish does not work, it can be easily adapted), resource efficiency. The operators can also see from the order volume which brands work in which part of the city and plan ahead accordingly.
The Berlin-based Ghost Kitchen Keatz has been operating in the German and now European market since 2016. The start-up, which counts Atlantic Food Labs and Project A Ventures among its investors, combines brands such as GringoBurritos or TamakaBowls in one kitchen. Depending on current demand, additional brands are constantly being added to the Keatz portfolio or others that did not meet the anticipated demand are being scrapped.
Cloud Kitchens (also Commercial Kitchens) provide Virtual Restaurants or Ghost Kitchens with the necessary premises, know-how about the operation, and/or the appropriate software. They take care of the operational functioning of the brands. A great advantage for the users is that there are no costs for the purchase of their own kitchen or working materials. A Cloud Kitchen can either be independent and offer space for different ghost restaurants, or combine several own brands under one roof.
Kitopi has been equipping Ghost Kitchens or restaurants that want to become Ghost Kitchens since 2018 with the necessary technology and know-how. The Dubai-based start-up has already cooperated with more than 100 restaurants worldwide. In November 2019, Kitopi received $60 million in funding, with which the startup currently intends to expand its locations even further and establish new locations in the USA.
Since Lieferando and Co., delivery services have become an integral part of eating habits in many places. Restaurants can use them to open up new sales channels in order to increase their turnover or, as the Corona pandemic showed, establish them as saviours in times of need. Free capacities can thus be used efficiently. Uber Eats, for example, has taken the next step and linked Ghost Restaurants and delivery service. Acting as cloud kitchens, they analyse search terms in specific regions and offer established restaurants the opportunity to set up exclusive Ghost Kitchens via Uber Eats.
Uber Eats, Uber’s delivery service, enables customers to order from their favourite restaurants, which usually do not have the capacity for their own delivery services. Not yet represented in this country, the company is experiencing annual growth in the USA. But that’s not all: Uber Eats also entered the cloud kitchen business in 2018 with the purchase of FoodStars and today already owns more than 100 Ghost Kitchens.