Starting your own restaurant requires a sound idea and a solid business plan. When you’re not sure if your restaurant would be a hit or a miss, starting a dark kitchen could help you get started while taking fewer risks than if you’d set up a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Besides, the food delivery market is expected to increase by at least 20% every year. 

 

Pros

First of all, you can save a considerable amount of money by not having to manage a physical kitchen. You don’t have to rent an expensive building and your restaurant doesn’t need to be in the heart of the city to attract customers. You can therefore set up your kitchen in a less expensive area. Not having a seating area means that there is no need to buy tables, chairs and so on to furnish your restaurant.

Another bonus – and it’s a big one: you can eliminate staff salaries. Since your virtual kitchen won’t need floor staff, you also won’t need to hire, train, manage and pay a team of waiters.

You won’t just save money when you opt for a dark kitchen. You’ll save time, too, as it takes less time to launch a delivery-only restaurant. It might even be a question of weeks instead of months since you don’t have to research all the above.

Cutting out these investments lower the operational costs of your restaurant massively, thereby increasing profit margins. This makes the risk of starting your own restaurant smaller than when establishing a conventional restaurant.

Another advantage of setting up a cloud kitchen is that managing and monitoring your kitchen is easier as everything happens online. Data is gathered in every step of the food ordering process. The customer chooses their meal by entering their personal information. Later the customer can rate the meal and give feedback on the food and overall experience. With all these data online, you can easily monitor which meals are more successful and you’ll be able to experiment more as you get immediate customer feedback.

“The food delivery market is expected to increase by at least 20% every year.”

Cons

One of the challenges when starting a dark kitchen is the fact that its only visibility is online. As more and more virtual kitchens are popping up and the competition is getting stronger, building a strong brand can be difficult. Therefore it’s important to invest in your kitchen’s online presence by using social media and online publicity.

Building a strong customer relationship is harder as there is less customer interaction. The interaction between you and the customer is digital only so it’s more difficult to give the conversation a personal touch. With the relationship between both parties being very short as well, it becomes even harder to build a customer relationship and keep customers loyal.

 

Pros and cons of dark kitchens chart

 

Overall, starting a dark kitchen is a great way to set up your own restaurant thanks to its many benefits and the rise of the online food ordering trend. Many online delivery systems such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Pandoora confirm that people are ordering food online more frequently – and this trend will only continue to go strong.

Isabelle Hanet
by Isabelle Hanet

Proud vegetarian