HOW DO I START A DARK KITCHEN?

May 12, 2021

By now you have probably learned what dark kitchens are, why they’re a good thing for restaurants, and now you’re wondering how to start one. The concept is pretty simple, and opening your own dark kitchen restaurant sounds relatively easy. And while it is easier than navigating a dine-in style restaurant, there a few things you should keep in mind.

So, to help you with your new cloud kitchen concept, here is a quick check list to starting a dark kitchen:

REFINE YOUR DELIVERY PLAN

Walkthrough every aspect of your business plan and pay special attention to delivery. This will be the essence of a successful dark kitchen. Take care to deeply investigate your delivery area, offerings, packaging, and target market. Time, quality, and temperature are particularly important factors to consider. Consider a limited menu to keep things easy, delivery robust, and cost-effective.

IDENTIFY YOUR NICHE

Ask yourself “is there a gap I can fill in my desired target market?”. Are you catering to students, young professionals, working parents? How can you provide a service that will satisfy a need?

EMBRACE THE DIGITAL REALM

Without a brick-and-mortar location, you will be relying heavily on the digital realm to get your business seen by your target customers. Invest in a responsive, mobile-friendly website, secure social media pages and handles specific to your brand, and spend some time building appropriate content. Start networking online and at local business events. Get your brand out there and associated with a solid digital presence.

DEVELOP YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE

Source a suitable location for your to operate out of. Make sure you comply with all the local laws and requirements for operating a kitchen. Decide which ghost kitchen business model you will use for your business.

DECIDE ON YOUR DELIVERY PLAN

The success of your business is going to lie in getting your product to your customer in good time, still intact, temperature appropriate, and cost-effectively. Although there are many third-party options like Uber Eats to help you with this, consider how much you will be giving away in terms of revenue (up to 30% per order), valuable customer data, and sacrificing your brand reputation. Native delivery is also an option as you keep it all in house but it requires a lot of planning on your side. ShiftPixy is another good option that hits the sweet spot between third-party and self-delivery.