We have seen a number of new food business start over the past year or so. It makes up a little for all those we lost. Some are traditional pubs, cafes and restaurants while quite a few were dark kitchens looking to capitalise on the rise of food delivery apps.
If you’re in this camp, how do you get started with a dark kitchen?
The rise of dark kitchens
A dark kitchen is the term used to describe a commercial restaurant without the premises. They are often smaller setups with no table seating and create food specifically for delivery apps.
The rise of social media, food delivery apps like Buzz-it and all the other food ordering apps has enabled this concept to really take hold. It’s a way of running a restaurant without the restaurant part, with just a kitchen.
Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant will know the high costs of starting up, finding a suitable location, fitting out the dining room, employing front of house staff and managing diners.
Setting up and running a kitchen without all that is much more manageable!
Setting up a dark kitchen
Before you get to the good stuff, you first need to research. You’ll need to do the same level of research you would for a traditional restaurant. What’s your catchment area? What competition is there? How many other restaurants in your area doing the same thing? What’s the demographic like in your chosen area? Will they respond to the cuisine you want to offer?
If there is space in the market for your menu and the appetite for it, you can set up a dark kitchen almost anywhere. As long as the space complies with fire, hygiene and building regulations, and is adequately insured for commercial use, the rest is easy.
Create your menu
Once you have the basics of a kitchen set up, now it’s time to create a menu. Bear in mind that dishes will have to travel and perhaps be reheated once delivered. Also bear in mind packaging and put yourself through the entire journey of each dish from your kitchen to the customer.
You’ll find that not all dishes will work or will need modifying to make them work. The earlier you do that, the better!
Once you have a menu, do a test run. Create some sample orders, drive them around for half an hour or bike around town with them in a rucksack to simulate the typical food delivery.
If they make it in one piece, you’re golden. If they didn’t, you may need to rethink the dish or the packaging.
When you’re ready to go, join the Buzz-it food delivery app. We don’t charge commission. We don’t charge joining fees or eat into your profits. The money you make is yours. We won’t touch any of it.
The rise of the dark kitchen feeds into an increased appetite for convenience and for trying new things. If you’re thinking of setting one up, it has never been a better time!