To understand the concept, let’s first define what a ghost kitchen is. A ghost kitchen (also known as a shadow kitchen) is a space designated for food preparation and cooking where professional chefs prepare meals for delivery only. So, basically, it’s a professional kitchen space with no sit-down or dine-in area for walk-in customers.
It can also be called a virtual kitchen, commissary kitchen, or dark kitchen. While the concept is in essence pretty simple there are a few different shadow kitchen models. All the models are cost-effective business concepts that have developed as a result of the growing demand for restaurant delivery options. Shadow kitchens don’t need fancy locations, appealing decor, or extra room for seating – they can easily pop up off the beaten track as long as they are able to meet their delivery demands in the areas their clients are located.
Being a delivery-only business model affords shadow kitchens the luxury of reaching target markets that a traditional dine-in restaurant wouldn’t be able to. And although they do not need servers and hosts/hostesses, shadow kitchens embrace the gig economy by employing delivery drivers and more chefs to meet the high delivery and food production demands of a food delivery consumer culture.