ghost kitchen calgary

Ghost Kitchen Calgary

Ghost Kitchen Calgary

Ever stumbled upon the term “ghost kitchen” and wondered what it entails? If your curiosity is piqued and you’re eager to delve deeper, you’re in the right place. Continue reading to uncover the mysteries of a ghost kitchen and explore how you can launch one of your own.

What is a Ghost Kitchen Concept?

Ghost Kitchens - Bedrock Construction

A ghost kitchen, also known as a cloud kitchen, virtual kitchen or dark kitchens, is a commercial cooking space that provides food businesses the facilities and services needed to prepare menu items for delivery and takeout only. Ghost kitchens or cloud kitchens do not have a physical space for dine-in customers. Instead, they focus exclusively on online orders, catering to customers through food delivery apps or their online ordering systems.

Ghost kitchens can host multiple restaurants, food brands or delivery business within the same space, each operating from its own kitchen setup but sharing common resources like cleaning services or order dispatch centres at a minimal cost. This model reduces operational costs and overheads, such as front-of-house staff and dining rooms, and cleaning staff, allowing businesses to focus on food production and delivery efficiency. Ghost kitchens have gained popularity as a flexible, cost-effective solution for local restaurants and food entrepreneurs looking to expand their reach without the hefty investment of opening a traditional restaurant space.

What to Expect From a Ghost Kitchen

Ghost Kitchens - Bedrock Construction

Ghost kitchens provide kitchen access, of course, to chefs and restaurants in the food industry. The kitchen is typically equipped with basic cooking equipment and can be customized further. Many ghost kitchens also come with fulfillment and logistics services, which is beneficial because it allows the eatery to focus on only cooking and preparing orders.

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What is the Point of a Ghost Kitchen or Cloud Kitchen?

Now that you know what a ghost kitchen is, you are surely wondering why some would prefer to operate one, rather than operate out of a brick-and-mortar restaurant and focus on delivery. Read on to discover why so many are shifting to– or starting out from a ghost kitchen.

Off-Site Consumption

A ghost kitchens is primarily meant as physical commercial kitchens where it is possible for chefs to prepare food for off-site consumption. These virtual kitchens can be used for catering, for example– or, overwhelmingly, for online food delivery services such as Skip The Dishes or Doordash. On these apps, it is not easy to discern which options are operating out of a ghost kitchen and which are full-service restaurants. Several innovative ghost kitchen brands are revolutionizing the food delivery industry by offering diverse culinary options without the overhead of a traditional restaurant space.

A ghost kitchen that services several restaurants, instead of just one, are now becoming more prominent. Many Calgary eateries or brands work out of this same space to cook and then sell their products. Often, these ghost kitchens are located in areas on the edge of the city or in industrial parks. Since there is no physical presence and dine-in eating, they are able to save money on rent because the location is not so important.

Why Do Ghost Kitchens Matter?

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The recent rise of the ghost kitchen model was jump-started by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many areas required that existing restaurants close their dining areas to stop the spread of disease, so in order to stay afloat, multiple restaurants pivoted to takeout and delivery, essentially becoming virtual restaurants. 

A ghost kitchen is also a great way for smaller restaurants and food operations to get their foot in the door. By taking their restaurant business online, it allows these businesses to get their food in front of customers and sell without having a physical storefront. This lack of a physical storefront allows them to save money that would otherwise be spent on rent for prime restaurant real estate or to pay extra staff. They also allow for brands to test out new menu options under different names to see what is working and what will not, similar to how an author might write under a pen name.

How to Start a Ghost Kitchen in Calgary

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Some of the factors that are considered when establishing a traditional brick and mortar dine-in restaurant differ from what is important when starting a food delivery operation such as a ghost kitchen in the restaurant industry. Planning, preparation, and proper research are all key in setting up a successful ghost kitchen in Calgary.

Plan

As with any business venture, you will want to have a strong concept. This is important for both brick and mortar and digital food delivery brands. First, identify your niche and find the gap in the market that you are looking to fill. Is there a specific demographic you’d like to target for delivery, such as students or those with special diets? What cuisine will you be serving? Put together a strong, pared-down menu that you’re confident about serving.

When you’re planning your brand and your menu, you will also want to plan to optimize your offerings for delivery. Food quality truly hinges on factors such as time and temperature, so how to achieve the best temperature from the kitchen to the customer’s location should be a consideration. Naturally, food that arrives soggy or cold will put off customers from ordering from you again. 

Find a Commercial Kitchen

To legally sell food, you must prepare it in a licensed commercial kitchen. You will want to either locate a space that is already set up as a commercial kitchen to rent, or you can find your own space and convert it to a commercial kitchen. Converting a space to a commercial kitchen is certainly more of an investment, both financially and monetarily. Once you find a space, you will want to find a contractor you trust to discuss your ideas and whether they are achievable for the space. Someone who is experienced in commercial renovations will be best suited for this sort of project. 

If you decide to go the route of renting space in an existing ghost kitchen, you will want to apply to the space. However, before that, you will want to be sure to ask any questions you may have to determine if this particular space is the best fit for your brand. Once you have found the perfect space, you will likely have to put down a deposit to access the ghost kitchen’s amenities and services. Finding out details such as off and on peak rates can help you to save some money, as long as it also benefits your brand and customer base.

Service Providers

Since this is a food delivery service business, you will want to do your research to choose the best service provider for your online customers. You’ll need to find vendors for your ingredients, but also a delivery app such as DoorDash or Grubhub. Take into account details such as fees and whether the delivery drivers will deliver to your area.

Health Inspection

Before you are able to open up shop and start selling, you will need to apply for a health inspection. Most health departments will require that they visit you in your space. You will want to be prepared to walk them through your processes, menu, and what service provider you are using.

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Ready to turn your virtual restaurant dreams into reality?

Look no further than Bedrock Construction! Our team specializes in designing and installing state-of-the-art ghost kitchens and cloud kitchens, tailored to meet the unique needs of your food business.

With our expertise, you can take your virtual restaurants to the next level. We understand the intricacies of creating efficient and functional spaces that optimize your operations and delight your customers. From concept to completion, Bedrock Construction is committed to bringing your ghost kitchen vision to life.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your restaurant business. Contact us today and let us transform your traditional restaurant and your ideas into a fully operational, top-notch virtual restaurant with a new ghost kitchen/cloud kitchen. Your success is our priority, and with Bedrock Construction by your side, you’re one step closer to culinary greatness. Reach out now to get started!