Ever heard of a “ghost kitchen”? No, this is not the name of yet another cooking reality show on your favourite TV channel. A ghost kitchen is the modern, 21st-century avatar of the restaurant kitchen. But there is one big difference. Unlike restaurants with a fully functional dining area, a ghost kitchen serves as a pick-up and delivery only restaurant.
By definition, a ghost kitchen is an area specifically used only to prepare food that is then delivered to customers. Most often, customers are not aware of where these kitchens operate. Thus the fancy name “Ghost Kitchen”!
Ghost kitchens also go by other names like virtual kitchens, dark kitchens, satellite kitchens, and cloud kitchens. So how do these ghost kitchens serve food to their customers without a dining area? It’s simple. All ghost kitchens operate via an app-to-door ordering model. Online food aggregators operate these apps to accept and deliver online orders.
So, yes, the dinner or lunch you order online most probably comes from a ghost kitchen.
What Fuels The Need For Ghost Kitchens In The UAE?
Ghost kitchens were born out of the necessity fueled by the food delivery market, which is predicted to grow from a $35 billion industry to a whopping $365 billion market in 2030! According to Statista, the online food delivery market, in particular, is projected to garner around $151.5 billion in 2021.
What about the food delivery market in the UAE? With a long-thriving food industry, this niche has exploded as investors in the UAE scramble to capitalise on the boom. A study reveals that over 50% of consumers in the UAE grab an online food delivery at least once a week. That’s just the minimum number we are talking about.
The food delivery market in the UAE is big business, with an annual turnover of USD$ 834 million! The Gulf News reports that over 400 UAE food brands based in Dubai operate out of 80 ghost kitchens. Besides, these cloud kitchens gave succour and opened up new possibilities to the food industry during the initial stages of the pandemic. Today, the momentum continues to grow. Customers prefer the convenience and safety of the food delivery services. Therefore, investing in cloud kitchens seems to be a promising business avenue in the UAE.
Advantages of Ghost Kitchens
Food service is the only core concept that ghost kitchens share with traditional restaurants. Their operational concept is different. It is all about remote food preparation, takeout, and delivery. So, what are the advantages that make ghost kitchens so popular?
- Lesser costs
The biggest allure of cloud kitchens is that their investment and operational costs are far more affordable. Besides, the number of staff you need is also minimal. Everyone you hire will either be cooking or packaging the orders for delivery. Therefore, there are a lot of avenues to curb unnecessary costs.
- Larger customer base
When you list your menu on a food delivery app, anyone with access to the internet is a prospective customer, irrespective of where they live. And unlike traditional restaurants that face bad business due to weather issues, business is booming round-the-clock for ghost kitchens.
- Better profit
Ghost kitchens are a preferred niche because of the low risks involved. You can operate a ghost kitchen from anywhere, even if you lack the financial capacity to rent or buy a full-fledged commercial kitchen. And if things don’t go as planned, you are less likely to incur heavy losses. For investors looking for minimum risks with maximum profit, cloud kitchens are the best choice.
- Creative format
The ghost kitchen concept is fresh and new, and therefore highly ideal for experimenting with new food formats, flavours, and ideas. Besides, you don’t have much to lose even if your experiment doesn’t work out. For the new generation of food entrepreneurs, ghost kitchens open up many creative opportunities.
Besides these advantages, ghost kitchens come with attractive aspects like customisation, faster expansion, and easier implementation of data-driven technologies.
It is easy to understand why ghost kitchens are so popular. What’s interesting is that shipping containers are now lending their bit to this growing trend. With container conversions already booming, investors are cashing in on the clever idea of repurposing shipping containers into ghost kitchens. Interesting, isn’t it? Let’s dissect the details.
Shipping Containers As Ghost Kitchens: A Pragmatic Idea
Ghost kitchens can be built using shipping containers because costs and build times are set up front. This transparency makes it easy to open multiple cloud kitchens at the same time. Besides, it takes minimal time and investment to convert a container into a functional kitchen. All it needs is a good HVAC system, insulation, doors, windows, gas pipelines, water connection, and kitchen appliance installation. Once done, you can start your operations and see good returns in a short time.
Many investors in Dubai, UAE prefer shipping container ghost kitchens for the following advantages because they are:
- Easily customisable as per your requirements.
- Easy to modify to meet all the food safety requirements.
- Long-lasting and durable, as it is the basic characteristic of every container.
- Operable from anywhere, be it parking lots, indoor locations, open land, or be connected to existing buildings.
- Affordable, and give you a better and faster ROI than building a kitchen from scratch.
- Easy to dismantle, and the parts can be recycled and reused.
- Code compliant, meaning that your ghost kitchen is also code compliant with your country’s building ordinances.
- Easy to relocate inside a building without making any major renovations to the existing structure.
Container Ghost Kitchens Are Here To Stay
Ghost kitchens hold great promise in meeting the needs of the food delivery industry. Using a shipping container ghost kitchen, you achieve the same form and functionality as a traditional kitchen. These kitchens spell the right formula to success: Minimum capital + maximum exposure = Great ROI.
It’s not too difficult to set up ghost kitchen containers in Dubai if you have the right experts at your disposal. At Supertech Industries, we have years of experience with customer conversions of every kind. If running a ghost kitchen is your entrepreneurial dream, we can be a part of it. Want to talk to our team about creating affordable container ghost kitchens? Contact us today, and let’s get things going!