Cloud kitchens are commercial kitchens that are specifically built to prepare food for delivery. These commissary kitchens are also known as “ghost kitchens,” “smart kitchen,” or “virtual kitchens,” and the food brands that operate within them are known as “virtual restaurants.”
Cloud kitchens are centralised licenced commercial food production facilities where businesses can rent space to create menu items for delivery. Under one roof, one restaurant may operate many brands or virtual restaurants, or the kitchen may be maintained as an incubator, shared by many vendors. Consider a vast warehouse with multiple stations (mini-restaurants) with stainless steel prep tables, hood vents, burners, ovens, and sinks, each with direct customer orders.
Cloud kitchen menu items are developed for simplicity of production as well as food quality consistency upon delivery. Cloud kitchens, which are frequently physically located in out-of-town industrial complexes, may offer vehicle parking, driver waiting rooms (typically with screens to monitor order delays), and check-in stations to ensure seamless driver pick-up. Everything is set up to get food out the door and into customers’ hands as quickly as possible.
Cloud kitchens are technologically advanced in their own right. They make use of popular food delivery applications on your smartphone, such as UberEats, Grubhub, and Doordash. They accomplish this by analysing enormous quantities of data to identify which foods to manufacture for specific communities and when demand is predicted to be highest. Between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., hot wings are especially popular near college campuses. This information allows for near-real-time adaptation and optimization.
With the advancement of technology, virtual kitchen services have emerged to consolidate the various delivery apps into a single portal, allowing for easier production of multiple orders and delivery coordination, as well as smart food purchasing and production software for reduced food waste and increased per meal unit economics. In terms of innovation in this industry, we’ve only scratched the surface.