As the world becomes defined by digital convenience, culinary preferences are evolving, too. The concept of ghost kitchens is emerging as an answer to these preferences. Key statistics and facts offer insight into this growing industry, helping chefs, entrepreneurs and investors make informed decisions as they grow with consumer trends.

Are you interested in starting a ghost kitchen business? Discover how ghost kitchens operate here, along with market and trend insights that can help you build a successful business approach in this sector.

How Ghost Kitchens Work

Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual restaurants, cloud kitchens or dark kitchens, are independent locations where food is prepared and cooked for delivery orders. There is no physical dine-in experience for customers, as ghost kitchens have no traditional storefronts, tables or seating areas.

Customers place orders through a third-party app, which the ghost kitchen staff then prepares. Delivery workers for the third-party app collect orders from the ghost kitchen and deliver the food to the customer. 

This business model focuses on customization and efficiency, providing restaurants with an innovative way to cater to their clientele through food delivery. Other businesses can also benefit from using ghost kitchens:

  • Food trucks: These businesses may use ghost kitchens as a central production point, simplifying their sales and final preparations as they serve food to patrons.
  • Delivery-only restaurants: Restaurants that start as virtual-only, exclusively catering to online orders, often use these shared kitchen spaces.
  • Caterers: Catering companies without kitchen spaces use ghost kitchens to prepare large volumes of food to ensure consistency, compliance and efficiency.

Benefits of Ghost Kitchens

The food delivery industry shows an annual growth rate of 12.78% worldwide. This statistic provides valuable information for established restaurants wanting to expand into a ghost kitchen model with strategic planning. Aside from plenty of opportunity for growth thanks to high demand, other benefits of ghost kitchens include:

Benefits of Ghost Kitchens
  • Cost efficiency: The ghost kitchen model eliminates overheads relating to wait staff, dining space, real estate and other variables that come with dine-in restaurants. Renting the ghost kitchen, hiring food preparation staff and purchasing ingredients are some of the only costs ghost kitchen operators have to consider.
  • Location flexibility: Ghost kitchens are almost always set up in convenient locations, which enables businesses to reach a wider delivery area and adapt to changing consumer demands. They can also operate in smaller spaces to cut back on overheads.
  • Scalability: It’s easier to expand your business and test new food concepts without significant capital investments when you operate out of a ghost kitchen.
  • Better staff morale: Employees, especially chefs, may face fewer day-to-day pressures in ghost kitchens than in traditional restaurants. When your staff doesn’t have to focus on the customer experience issues that can surface in dine-in restaurants, they can pay more attention to creating delicious dishes.

Health Standards and Protocols to Consider

Ghost kitchens must adhere to the same health standards and protocols as traditional kitchens. Here are crucial factors to keep in mind as you begin planning and operating your ghost kitchen:

  • Food safety: Along with selecting high-quality, safe ingredients, kitchen staff must have training in food safety practices. Ghost kitchens are also subject to regular health inspections to ensure compliance.
  • Food storage: Employees should use a first-in, first-out method to keep ingredients as fresh as possible. Ingredients must also be stored at the correct temperatures to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage.
  • Delivery packaging: Insulated bags and containers keep food hot or cold. Restaurants should prioritize using delivery packaging that prevents leaks and cross-contamination of food items.
  • Vendor food safety policies: Choose vendors that comply with food safety regulations. They should provide proper certifications, allowing service providers to verify their safety policies.

Ghost Kitchen Industry Market and Revenue: Key Insights

Ghost kitchens are starting to redefine the restaurant industry. In 2022, this industry’s global market size sat at $71.14 billion, and that figure only continues to increase.

The ghost kitchen industry is on a growth trajectory driven by consumer shifts to the convenience of online food ordering and delivery. Thanks to a rise in technology facilitating mobile food delivery apps, more than 50% of adults say ordering takeout or delivery is an essential part of their lives.

Ghost kitchen revenue can vary widely, depending on factors like delivery demand, location and menu offerings. Still, as a result of the increasing demand for online food services and consumer lifestyle changes, more restaurants are investing in this business model or abandoning their storefronts for virtual-only operations. In the past five years, this industry has grown by 3.9% and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

The Future of Ghost Kitchens

Ghost kitchens will grow into a trillion-dollar industry by 2030 as dine-in activities scale down due to increasing demand for food delivery services. This means that finding shared-use kitchens near you will become even more simplified. Delivery services offer convenience to customers, propelling ghost kitchens to hold a 50% market share in the global drive-thru and takeaway food service industry.

The future of ghost kitchens indicates exciting possibilities and an ongoing evolution of the market and its trends. Industry data indicates this market will continue to grow and expand, giving way to a rise in virtual restaurants offering diverse cuisine options. This growth could also lead to advanced restaurant automation to facilitate an increase in efficiency and reduce labor costs.

Find Ghost Kitchens for Rent With Revolving Kitchen

Staying up-to-date with trends in this industry allows businesses to remain competitive in an ever-changing environment. From impressive market expansion to shifting consumer behavior, the data surrounding this business model offers a compelling narrative of opportunity for growth.

Are you looking for a kitchen lease near you? Revolving Kitchen is at the forefront of this trend. We offer 25 state-of-the-art, fully-equipped cloud kitchens that allow businesses to run their delivery operations with ease. You can also enjoy flexible ghost kitchen rental options with short- and long-term plans. Contact us today to see how we can help you realize your culinary dreams.

Find Ghost Kitchens for Rent With Revolving Kitchen