Ghost Kitchens – Trend Spotting in the Covid Era
Chef Erin Coopey, Arizona Culinary Institutes Director of Education
One of the top trends in the culinary world this year is Ghost Kitchens. As the pandemic forced closures of indoor dining spaces, chefs began pivoting to delivery as a way to stay afloat. Many restauranteurs are focusing on delivery to cut down on overhead. Why pay for a dining room that’s empty? That’s where Ghost Kitchens come it.
Ghost Kitchens are, in essence, restaurant kitchens without dining rooms. Industry leaders expect to see more ghost kitchens or ghost food halls operated out of commissary kitchens or temporarily subletting kitchen spaces from existing restaurants in 2021.
These kitchens can even support multiple brands, each selling their own products (and some new) all under one check. So, for example, you could order pizza while your partner orders a burger, and then you both get ice cream, all from three different venues, on the same tab, delivered together, using your own delivery mechanism or logistics. This can really streamline the speed of delivery as well. Logistically speaking, a commissary ghost kitchen could be a one-stop shop for dozens of options.
Technology is leading the way. Some companies are creating whole new businesses based on search results. They look at top food searches in their area and fill the need. It’s a scenario similar to the adage, “if we build it, they will come” but in this case, it’s more like “if they want it delivered, we will make it.”
So, what do you think, is a Ghost Kitchen in your future?