Posts tagged by: foodservice

Everything You Need to Know About Ghost Kitchens

kitchen prep

We’ve all heard buzzwords flying around since the beginning of the pandemic – unprecedented, PPE, social distancing, etc. But one phrase keeps popping up in the foodservice industry: ghost kitchens. You may find yourself wondering what the emergence of these means for the future of our industry and how you may be able to leverage this trend for your own business. That’s where we come in. We’re here to answer your questions and help you learn everything you need to know about ghost kitchens.

What are ghost kitchens?

The question we’ve all been asking for a few months now: what are ghost kitchens? While they seem to have sprung up very recently to some, Ghost Kitchens have been around since 2013. Ghost Kitchens are a virtual concept focused solely on delivery and takeout, eliminating front-of-house and on-site dining. You may also see these referred to as “cloud” or “virtual” kitchens.

If you’re thinking of pivoting to this virtual trend, there are two main ghost kitchen models to consider: Shared Kitchens (also called Commissary) or Private.

Shared Kitchens are exactly what they sound like: the sharing of resources and space between foodservice providers. The model may vary by community or location, but typically you’ll rent a commercial kitchen that comes fully equipped by the hour, week, or month. Other chefs will work alongside you, so make sure there’s space to rent during the times you’ll need it. Maintenance, storage, equipment, and supplies will generally be provided for you.

Private Kitchens give you more control, but will also give you more upfront costs. Depending on your location, you may be able to rent a commercial kitchen already equipped, or you may have to outfit it yourself. These are essentially a regular restaurant kitchen with no dine-in option: it’s all yours.

If you’re looking to rent an already established space, there are virtual brands already taking over in the United States: Cloud Kitchens, Kitchen United, and Virtual Kitchen Co are among the biggest brands so far.

Why ghost kitchens?

There are many advantages to adopting this model. The main appeal is that virtual kitchens cut down many of the everyday operational expenses of a regular restaurant model. As there’s no on-site dining, these kitchens can help cut costs so you have more time to focus on the quality of food and the efficiency of service. The costs may vary by layout, but some examples of these costs include:

  • Uniforms. With takeout or delivery, there’s less of a need for a homogeneous staff look.
  • Equipment. If you’re going to be using a shared kitchen, the resources are all shared and the space has already been equipped.
  • Front of House. Eliminate the expenses of furniture, artwork, music, and other entertainment as no diners are on-site waiting to be served.
  • Real Estate. Cut down real estate costs with less square footage and shared kitchens.
  • Quick Turnaround Time. With the help of the virtual kitchen brands mentioned above, opening a new kitchen will only take about a month!

With many of these everyday costs cut down or eliminated, you’ll have more time to focus on the food you’re serving, or even testing new recipes and concepts to keep the menu fresh each season!

What are the challenges?

1. Efficiency

While there are many advantages to virtual kitchens, the main challenge is a big one. As you’ll no longer have the ability to remake wrong orders on-site or keep guests entertained during a long wait, your service will need to be more efficient all around.

2. Delivery

Quick delivery is key to keeping your diners happy and coming back for more. You’ll need to decide whether you will be providing in-house delivery or using a third-party app. Delivery software education and staff training are imperative in order to successfully run a delivery-only kitchen.

To learn more, read How Can I Start a Delivery Service for My Restaurant on the Burkett Blog.

How will ghost kitchens impact the future of the foodservice industry?

These past 7 months may seem as if our industry has been completely transformed. In reality, the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated an already growing trend. Online ordering was already slated to become a $38 billion industry by 2020. Of course, what they didn’t account for was a worldwide pandemic that would shut down on-site dining for the better part of 2020. This lead to an increased need for businesses to quickly adapt to the takeout and delivery model.

In other words, the emergence of more virtual kitchens in 2020 is not changing the course of the foodservice industry, only quickening its pace. As the world becomes more digital, it only makes sense that our industry will follow. However, this won’t fully replace the social aspect of the traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants. Ghost kitchens will most likely be the future of fast casual, quick serve dining where meals are already optimized to go. The model’s long-term future is still to be determined, but for now they

If you want more information on how to adopt the ghost kitchen model, we have a knowledgeable sales team just waiting to help you – Contact us today!

COMMERCIAL FOODSERVICE DISTRIBUTION CONTINUES DURING COVID-19

BURKETT TAKES ACTION TO SUPPORT FOOD SERVICE PROVIDERS AS THE INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO NEW CDC GUIDELINES AND CONSTRAINTS ON SUPPLY CHAIN

Perrysburg, Ohio – In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies is pleased to announce the release of Coronavirus Commercial Kitchen Essentials (CVCKE), a webpage offering equipment, supplies and support to help food service providers respond to new CDC guidelines and supply chain constraints.

“With the conronavirus continuing to spread, foodservice operators are faced with heightened responsibilities in protecting their staff and the people they serve. We have turned our focus to providing safe solutions that make it easier for operators of government facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and institutions, military sites, groceries and restaurants to respond to the changes they are facing.”

Jameel Burkett, Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies President & CEO

The webpage was launched with a limited offering on Thursday, March 19. Burkett continues to work with suppliers worldwide to expand the current offering to further satisfy the demands of new regulations and safety concerns. Industry buyers are asked to contact Burkett with additional needs not met by the current CVCKE site.

Burkett has provided hygienic commercial foodservice solutions to hospitals, healthcare facilities, military facilities, prisons, institutions, groceries, convenience stores and restaurants with dine-in, carryout, curbside and delivery capabilities since 1977. Burkett is honored by its partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration as GSA contractor No. 47QSWA18D002G.

CVCKE allows buyers to easily navigate products in several key categories:

Health, Sanitation & Wellness

Food business owners have particular responsibilities under food law and must maintain proper hygiene practices at all times by providing the correct facilities, e.g. hand washing, to enable staff to practice good hygiene and help prevent the spread of germs and illness.

Warewashing & Sterilization

Commercial sterilization products are designed to protect against contamination between raw or undercooked foods and cooked or ready to eat foods. Current information suggests that the coronavirus may survive a few hours on surfaces; proper warewashing and sterilization equipment is a must.

Ice & Water Dispensers

Today’s environment demands a sanitary ice maker/dispenser design that keeps ice fully contained until it is needed, minimizing the opportunity for cross-contamination and keeping your ice clean.

Commercial Refrigeration & Freezers

Improve the safety and quality of food and ingredients with Commercial Refrigeration. Whether you need a 1 door unit for quick and easy convenience, a chest freezer, or a large walk-in cooler to satisfy your business’s heavy-duty storage needs, Burkett is your one-stop-shop for all refrigeration and kitchen essentials.

Carryout & Meal Delivery

As the number of cases of the novel coronavirus increases, many states are taking drastic measures to enforce social distancing – a step that is believed to be imperative to slowing the virus’s spread. The governors of 15 states have already ordered all bars and restaurants closed for dine-in service, allowing only carryout and delivery services to continue. CVCKE is a resource for restaurateurs who want to evolve their business.

To maintain a safe working environment for employees, Burkett has implemented the following changes:

  • Third-party janitorial service implementing added cleaning measures to disinfect the workplace
  • All sick employees required to stay home
  • Office team members moved to virtual office environments, utilizing computer-based meetings
  • Revised corporate travel policies to minimize unnecessary exposure
  • Enforcing CDC guidelines for more than 6′ working space
  • Enforcing social distancing with no more than 10 employees in an individual workspace
  • Ongoing communication of contingency plans to employees

For more information about Burkett, please visit https://www.burkett.com, email sales@burkett.com or call 800-828-8564. To learn more about Burkett’s response to the COVID-19 virus and to shop the CVCKE webpage, visit: https://www.burkett.com/coronavirus-commercial-kitchen-essentials

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