Take-out and delivery are on the rise across Canada, with folks preferring to “skip the dishes,” and indulge in a tasty meal without cooking a thing.
However, once you place your meal order via a delivery app, the company behind the meal, may not be what you expect! Your meal may be whipped up a “ghost kitchen” – aka a takeout-only restaurant – which has been popping up across Canada over the last two years.
This concept, which takes a creative, cost-cutting approach, is shaking up the traditional restaurant industry. Ghost kitchens do not require a restaurant location that comes with high rent, expensive equipment, servers, hostess, dining rooms, parking lots – making a once extremely expensive project, into one with low margins and exciting earning potential.
They really are bubbling with potential: Hospitality Technology is predicting the industry will be worth an extraordinary $71.4 billion dollars by 2027.
Before getting too excited, it is important to note that like traditional restaurants, ghost kitchens must obtain necessary operating permits, demonstrate proof of food handling, sanitation, and work safety certificate as well as their food safety plan in line with the Ministry of Health. They are also subject to random inspections.
Savvy entrepreneurs are renting commissary kitchens, shared kitchen space with other companies, that come equipped with impressive commercial equipment like what restaurant kitchens would offer: state of the art ovens, freezers, refrigerators. In addition to a warm sense of community, these spaces offer huge savings.
For context, to lease a traditional dining space in the foodie city of Vancouver could range between $2,400 – $10,000 per month. A commissary kitchen, however, would cost $750-$1800 per month.
For less established food companies, there is less risk involved, due to lower operational and running costs and savings with marketing – as there is less pressure to have a full house every night. This allows ghost kitchen chefs to have more ownership of their menu and be more creative.
Another selling point: no more stress of finding reliable staff.
Ghost kitchens are considered a low-risk business venture. Interested entrepreneurs are likely to find the most success in Canada’s larger cities, where folks are more interested in a “convenience” lifestyle. It’s a great chance to break into a niche market, offering an opportunity to test new food products for different consumers.
This is also significant opportunity for those interested in pursuing the food sector, specifically take away outlets. If the business has the space and capacity to do so, it may be beneficial to consider renting out a section of the kitchen to ghost chefs, leading to more revenue.
Likewise, reinventing and adapting your potential restaurant or food service to incorporate a commissary kitchen model could cut costs dramatically, as well as generate some extra cash in the process!