What are Ghost Restaurants?

Find out how ghost restaurants are taking over the F&B industry!


What is a Ghost Restaurant?

No, this isn't some Halloween prank. Ghost restaurants are actually real, and are comprised of a growing number of eateries that only deliver. Such eateries completely bypass the Front of House aspect of a restaurant and operate solely from a kitchen. Food orders are placed online and are then delivered directly to a customer's doorstep. This, essentially reduces the number of touchpoints between restaurant and customer in a way that's truly spooky. 



Benefits of Running a Ghost Restaurant

It's tempting to think that this new concept has no legs or traction, but the benefits of operating a ghost restaurant are very real and very tangible to restauranteurs. Setting up a restaurant is no easy feat with  around [1] 26 percent of restaurants failing in the first year, alone. This statistic is certainly alarming when we consider that [2] "the traditional restaurant business model combines high upfront investments, large overhead costs and competition, which makes it hard for businesses to survive or grow."


Setting up a ghost restaurant cuts out a large percentage of the cost and difficulty of setting up a traditional restaurant. You need to only rent out a kitchen, hire chefs and delivery personnel (or partner with a delivery company). You can bypass décor, designers and customer parking spaces.  Finally, your business is easily scalable and you, by default, must set up an online presence, which boosts reach right off the bat. With all these cost-saving benefits, food prices can be slashed, benefitting customers.


New-Age Appeal

Beyond that, ghost restaurants simply appeal more to the younger generation. While many simply can't see themselves replacing the traditional restaurant experience with something as impersonal as a ghost restaurant order, ghost restaurants are actually perfectly tailored for the younger generation. Think of Netflix, whereby people can skip going to the cinema entirely in favour of watching movies at home. The same concept applies here. Perhaps, though, ghost restaurants cannot replace traditional diners completely, but they can serve a different purpose, namely, as a way to replace home-cooked meals. Many people simply don't have the time to cook their own meals on a daily basis, and ordering a cheaper ghost restaurant meal could be just the ticket. 


Tech

Of course, ghost restaurants cannot survive without utilizing new and important F&B-based technologies. Things like User Apps, Kitchen Display Systems, Expedite Displays and delivery systems are key to making ghost restaurants run smoothly. However, these investments are far more manageable than the huge investment that opening up a traditional restaurant incurs. 


[1] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0010880405275598

[2]https://www.forbes.com/sites/lanabandoim/2019/01/28/how-ghost-restaurants-are-changing-the-restaurant-business-model/#4bddef8141d7


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