Covid-19 accelerated digitization in the most remarkable way across different industries. But one the most unexpected and widely accepted emergent is the rise of ghost kitchens. In fact, these virtual kitchens are anticipated to dominate the global market by 2027 and could be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

Ghost kitchens (also known as dark kitchens and virtual kitchens) are kitchens without dining rooms and are typically used to describe standalone delivery and takeout operations. All it takes is to rent a space, create a mouth-watering digital menu and start selling your food to online customers. They will probably never become your traditional brick and mortar destination.

Global food service delivery sales have more than doubled from 2014 to 2020. 52% of global consumers are comfortable ordering from a delivery only restaurant with no physical storefront. Sound like the perfect time to join the new restaurant generation? If you want to get ahead of your competition and leverage new business opportunities at lower costs, this is the blog post for you.

Get creative with the empty space in your dining establishments

For the past couple of years, take-out and delivery have been the means to survival for restaurants looking to stay afloat during the pandemic. And now, as restaurants begin to recover, takeout and delivery aren’t going anywhere, in fact they seem to have restructured the global restaurant industry.

For the past couple of years, take-out and delivery have been the means to survival for restaurants looking to stay afloat during the pandemic. And now, as restaurants begin to recover, takeout and delivery aren’t going anywhere, in fact they seem to have restructured the global restaurant industry.

This is disruption at its best because these challenges also led way to new opportunity. Several dining establishments have turned their dining areas into ghost kitchens they have expanded their concepts, reach out to varied target markets and spun up new digital brands, without taking on additional overheads.

Restaurants no longer have to be located in the busiest of locations, they don’t have to employ around the clock wait staff or shell out thousands on furniture, and they can easily customize their menu so it focuses on food that’s delivery-friendly. Call it a silver lining!

The growing delivery industry

According to UBS, global online food ordering is expected to expand to $365 billion by 2030. That represents 20% growth each year as the number of customers who prefer delivery continues to increase.

Now these are the stats every ghost kitchen owner dreams of! And with more and more diners opting for delivery over dine-in, removing overhead costs while still being able to experience continuous growth and product diversification is a major upside.

Trial and error isn’t as scary in this scenario, testing out new cuisines and experiment with varied food groups is becoming easier than ever. Especially when equipped with a real-time updating digital menu, which can also help to streamline costs.

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Bring your ghost kitchen to life with a strong digital presence

It’s clear that consumer behavior has changed, for better or worse. So now it’s up to you to reach out to them through digital mediums. Just creating a great looking website won’t do the trick, you’re going to need to show your customer the food your selling – and what better way to do that than with an interactive, mobile-adaptable (51% of internet user’s login through their mobile) digital menu! If you remember from our previous post;

The biggest factor behind diners’ decisions to order out from a restaurant after looking at its website, were the items on its menu. For more information please click here.

When running a ghost kitchen, you also need to remember to interact with your customers regularly on social media. According to a study, 86% of millennials try a new restaurant after seeing food-related content online. So make sure to create regular posts highlighting your dishes, interact with customers in the comments section and most importantly share your QR code menu for ease of access to the dishes you have available.

Build meaningful relationships

Remember a strong brand persona can help customers overcome any doubts on quality. Communicate brand stories through exceptional user experience. This is important now more than ever because you’re denied direct contact with your customer which helps build relationships.

The key thing that can help you close this gap is a trendy and up-to-date digital menu that your customers will love. Intrigue them with a convenient, interactive, user-friendly menu they can view from anywhere, at any time, and then quickly call in their orders.

Make sure to promote your restaurants logo so it remains top of mind and select a menu theme that embodies the tone and style of your restaurant. Keep customers coming back by featuring enticing pictures and stimulating product descriptions of your food, remember a staggering 82% of people buy a dish because of how it looks in a picture. A high quality user experience of this sort can build trust which leads to long customer relationships and ultimately profits.

Keep your customers coming back

We are all naturally drawn towards aesthetically pleasing products and packages – it’s in our DNA. Attractive packaging if the first physical impression you make to your customer and it will have a positive effect on the customer’s perception of your restaurant, driving repeat sales up by up to 52%.

Customers feel valued when restaurants go the extra mile to deliver, so maybe consider add a personal note or a quirky statement on your to-go boxes to help you stand out from the rest, after all it’s the little things that matter! Even increase customer retention by printing the QR code to your digital menu on your packaging, so customers can check out your products at their convenience.

The sum up

Ghost kitchens are an interesting example of how digital can support old industries rock new trends. Order out and deliveries doesn’t have to mean the end for restaurants. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. Ghost kitchens were forced to reevaluate their value proposition and prove to the world that sometimes change is for the better, especially in today’s digital age.

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Ensure your customers will always have access to accurate and current information with Applova’s Dynamic QR Code that allows for real-time price changes and menu item availability or substitutions.

Applova Free Digital Menu is FREE FOREVER. So what are you waiting for? Create a digital menu now, to bolster sales turnover, increase customer engagement and go next-level digital!

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Published Dec 22, 2021

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