The Dark Kitchen: a new restaurant concept

The transformation of the catering market is continuing. Restaurant owners and food retail entrepreneurs must deal with the exponential growth of delivery platforms to retain their customer segment. In order to align with changing consumption patterns, they must deploy ever more innovative solutions. DOOD offers you many solutions to deal with the current situation, including the dark kitchen or virtual restaurant.

Why start a dark kitchen?

The dark kitchen or cloud kitchen or ghost kitchen is a solution for restaurateurs and food retail players to offer their products online. This new business model allows you to continue to sell food and/or offer traditional cuisine without having to receive customers in a restaurant. You prepare all your dishes in a professional kitchen without a catering room and offer a delivery service to your customers.

A reduced and controlled cost

The dark kitchen concept minimizes the financial contribution of the entrepreneur. DOOD integrates e-commerce and e-marketing solutions to help you deploy your remote food business at a lower cost.

You can invest in the food trade without investing in:

  • the purchase or rental of a room,
  • recruiting staff,
  • the purchase of furniture and equipment for the dining room,
  • table service management.

All orders are managed immediately on the interface of your e-commerce site. You can process orders as you receive them. You can anticipate the often very long waiting time and the flow of customers in a room. You still have to manage the progressive delivery of the dishes ordered.

In a dark kitchen you just need a busy professional kitchen. Unlike a restaurant, you don’t need to define a catchment area. All you need is a strategic location to streamline the delivery axes.

Finally, you need a minimum of staff, as most services are done online. You don’t need to hire waiters and cashiers. It will also limit the expenses related to the process of recruiting and training staff as well as the insurance that you must take out for your employees.

Easier management and significant time savings

Managing a restaurant is an important and restrictive organization. You must manage customers at different stages: arrival, installation, order taking and payment. All this now takes place online on the same interface. Also, you will have fewer workloads in terms of team management.

You can manage your menus online: add, modify or remove a dish, the update is done in real time. This makes it easier to monitor available stocks and anticipate supplies. You no longer need to coordinate a large production line between teams. Each manager will have access to the interface at all times.

The constraints related to the standardization of rooms and equipment, maintenance and cleaning of the premises are minimized. All your resources can be focused on the performance of cooks and delivery people to guarantee products and services that meet your customers’ expectations.

Automated marketing tracking

Deploying an e-commerce site with DOOD allows you to create your own customer data that you can use for your marketing campaigns. At the same time, you can monitor user behavior:

  • occasional customers,
  • loyal customers,
  • occasional visitors,
  • repeat visitors.

Depending on the status of each Internet user, you can launch a targeted emailing, SMS or Push campaign.

How does a dark kitchen work?

The concept of a dark kitchen is based on three pillars: creating a site, having a team of experienced cooks and deploying a delivery service.

Create a site dedicated to your dark kitchen

By creating your e-commerce site with the solution offered by DOOD, you can not only personalize a site in your image, but also integrate SEO and marketing monitoring tools. 

You can optimize local SEO so that your site appears in search results, by creating your Google My Business listing , your brand is mentioned in customer reviews. DOOD guarantees you more visibility to attract and retain customers. 

Assemble a team of cooks

Three steps are essential for setting up a dark kitchen: setting up an e-commerce site, opening a professional kitchen and setting up a team of cooks. This last step is just as important as the first two, because the quality of your dishes plays an important role in customer satisfaction.

Deploy a delivery service

True, you do not need to choose a strategic location for your kitchen. However, it is important to choose a targeted axis to streamline delivery flows to the different districts of the city. You don’t need to hire delivery people, DOOD offers you a delivery service with qualified professionals and a competitive price.

How to find a dark kitchen?

Do you want to get started in the virtual restaurant? You have the choice between renting a dark kitchen in a shared room or setting up your own room. In any case, the dark kitchen concept requires a well-established market study. On the one hand, you must analyze the competition in the region at the risk of entering a saturated market. On the other side, you need to choose a location that allows for fast delivery flow.

Rent a dark kitchen

This solution is the simplest and fastest way to launch your business. You benefit from a turnkey solution with:

  • A configuration according to the type of kitchen that suits your team.
  • All the necessary equipment and utensils for your kitchen.
  • Upkeep and maintenance of the premises.

You then have to manage orders, preparations and deliveries.

Furnish your own kitchen

Whether it’s an existing kitchen or a new installation, you must configure your premises in such a way as to facilitate the flow of delivery people. There must therefore be a corner for the kitchen and a corner for the collection of orders by the delivery people.

As for the kitchen area, it must always include three poles: cold, cooking and laundry. Always remember to adapt your packaging according to the type of dish to be ordered. If the latter requires heating, use microwave-resistant packaging.

The success of a dark kitchen is based on two important points: creating an efficient e-commerce site and having a fitted kitchen, all complemented by a responsive and fast delivery service.

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