How to Start a Ghost Kitchen

How to Start a Ghost Kitchen

What is a ghost kitchen?Starting a ghost kitchen can be a cost-effective way for restaurant owners to expand their business, as it allows them to leverage existing kitchen facilities and staff to prepare food for delivery without the added expenses of a physical storefront. It can also be a good option for individuals looking to enter the food industry, as it requires a lower upfront investment compared to opening a traditional restaurant.

The ghost kitchen concept is simple: a commercial kitchen that only delivers food, with no dine-in service. This new business model has been gaining popularity in recent years, as it offers a number of advantages for both restaurant owners and customers. For restaurant owners, ghost kitchens require less investment than traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants, as they can be located in existing commercial kitchens or even in converted shipping containers.

They also offer greater flexibility in terms of menu and delivery options. And because they are not reliant on foot traffic, they can be located in areas with lower rents. For customers, ghost kitchens provide a convenient way to enjoy their favorite meals without having to leave home. They also offer greater variety, as different ghost kitchens can specialize in different cuisines.

As the ghost kitchen industry continues to grow, there is no doubt that this new business model will have a major impact on the UK foodservice sector

What is a ghost kitchen?

A ghost kitchen is a type of restaurant that exists only online. Customers can order food through delivery apps like Uber Eats or DoorDash, but they never step foot inside the physical restaurant. Ghost kitchens have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they provide a cost-effective way for restaurants to expand their reach without incurring the overhead costs of a brick-and-mortar location. Moreover, ghost kitchens allow restaurants to focus their efforts on preparing food, rather than on front-of-house tasks like seating and serving guests.

As a result, many chefs and restaurateurs see ghost kitchens as the future of the food industry.

Shared ghost kitchen

The term “ghost kitchen” may conjure up images of a dark and dusty space, but the reality is far different. A ghost kitchen is simply a commercial kitchen that is shared by multiple businesses. These kitchens are often located in busy areas, such as food courts or near event venues, and they offer a cost-effective way to prepare food for delivery or takeout.

Shared ghost kitchens are becoming increasingly popular, as they provide a convenient way to meet the growing demand for delivery and takeout options. For businesses that do not have the space or resources to maintain their own commercial kitchen, a shared ghost kitchen can be an ideal solution.

Turnkey ghost kitchen

A turnkey ghost kitchen is a fully equipped commercial kitchen that can be used to prepare food for delivery or takeout. These kitchens are often located in warehouses or other industrial properties, and they are typically less expensive to lease than a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant. Turnkey ghost kitchens can be an appealing option for entrepreneurs who want to start a food business but don’t want the hassle or expense of opening a physical location.

Additionally, these kitchens can be leased on a short-term basis, which gives businesses the flexibility to scale up or down as needed. While turnkey ghost kitchens have many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Because these kitchens are not open to the public, they can be difficult to build brand awareness and generate word-of-mouth buzz. Additionally,ghost kitchens can be cramped and lacking in amenities, which can make it difficult to attract and retain top talent. Ultimately, whether or not a turnkey ghost kitchen is right for your business will depend on your specific needs and goals.

Steps to starting your own dark kitchen

A dark kitchen is a restaurant that prepares and delivers food, but doesn’t have a dining area for customers. Also known as a virtual restaurant or cloud kitchen, this type of business is becoming increasingly popular, especially in urban areas where space is limited. If you’re thinking of starting your own dark kitchen, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.

First, you’ll need to choose a location. Ideally, it should be near a residential area so that you can reach your target market easily. You’ll also need to make sure the kitchen has enough space to accommodate all the equipment you’ll need. Next, you’ll need to decide what type of food you want to serve. Will you be cooking from scratch or using ready-made meals? Once you’ve decided on your menu, you’ll need to source the ingredients and supplies you’ll need.

Finally, you’ll need to promote your business and build up a customer base. With some careful planning, starting your own dark kitchen can be a rewarding and lucrative business venture.

1. Find your niche

The ghost kitchen phenomenon is on the rise, and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. If you’re not familiar with ghost kitchens, they’re basically commercial kitchens that are used exclusively for delivery and takeout orders. And with more and more people ordering in these days, they’re a hot commodity. But what does this have to do with finding your niche? Well, ghost kitchens provide the perfect opportunity for food businesses to niche down and find their target market.

For example, let’s say you want to start a Indian food business. You could try to open a restaurant, but that would be a huge undertaking and you would likely have a lot of competition. But what if you focused on delivery and takeout orders from ghost kitchens? You could specialize in delivering fresh, healthy Indian food to busy professionals who don’t have time to cook. By targeting a specific market like this, you can set yourself apart from the competition and make your business more successful.

So if you’re looking to start a food business, think about how you can use ghost kitchens to find your niche. It could be the key to your success.

2. Develop a product

Ghost kitchens often partner with delivery services such as DoorDash or Uber Eats, which means that they can reach a wider area than if they were limited to servicing only those who live or work nearby. Because ghost kitchens don’t have the overhead costs associated with traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants (such as rent, utilities, and staff), they can offer their dishes at a lower price point.

As a result, ghost kitchens have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among budget-conscious diners. If you’re thinking about starting a ghost kitchen, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you’ll need to create a menu of dishes that can be easily prepared and delivered. Second, you’ll need to find a commissary kitchen where you can prepare your food. And finally, you’ll need to promote your ghost kitchen through online channels such as social media and food-delivery apps. With careful planning and execution, starting a ghost kitchen can be a viable and profitable business venture.

3. Build a brand

Ghost kitchens are often affiliated with a particular delivery app or service, and they typically only offer a limited menu of items. While ghost kitchens may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, they actually have a long history.

One of the first ghost kitchens was started in London in the late 1800s, when a group of women began cooking meals for local businesses. The concept quickly caught on, and by the early 1900s, there were ghost kitchens all over Europe and North America. Today, ghost kitchens are becoming increasingly popular as the demand for delivery and take-out food grows. In many cases, ghost kitchens are able to offer higher quality food than traditional restaurants because they don’t have to worry about accommodating customers in a dining room. As a result, ghost kitchens can be an excellent option for those looking to build a brand in the food industry.

4. Choose a location

Choosing the right location for your ghost kitchen is essential to the success of your business. The location should be easily accessible to your target market, and there should be plenty of foot traffic. It should also be large enough to accommodate all of your equipment, and it should have adequate ventilation. Additionally, the lease should be reasonable and the landlord should be cooperative.

With careful consideration, you can find the perfect location for your ghost kitchen and set yourself up for success.

Start a ghost kitchen from your existing business location

Unlike a traditional restaurant, a ghost kitchen does not have a dining area for customers. Instead, it focuses solely on the food preparation and delivery aspects of the business. While this may sound like a strange concept, there are several advantages to starting a ghost kitchen. For one thing, it eliminates the need for expensive rent and other overhead costs associated with a physical location.

Additionally, ghost kitchens often have shorter wait times for food delivery, as they are not bogged down by the need to seat and serve customers in a dining room. As more and more people turn to food delivery as their preferred method of eating out, starting a ghost kitchen from your existing business location is a great way to tap into this growing market.

Rent out a ghost kitchen space

If your building has spare capacity you could rent out the space to a ghost kitchen owner. Chef’s and food entrepreneur are always looking for space to develop their brands. Ghost kitchens are commercial kitchens that can be rented by chefs and restaurateurs. They offer all the benefits of a professional kitchen, without the cost and commitment of leasing an entire space.

And because they’re not open to the public, there’s no need to worry about things like décor and ambiance. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to launch your culinary career, a ghost kitchen could be just what you need.

5. Plan a kitchen layout

When it comes to commercial kitchens, there are a few key things to keep in mind when planning the layout. First, the kitchen should be designed for efficiency. This means creating a clear path from the point of entry to the main work areas, and making sure that there is adequate space for food preparation, cooking, and cleanup. Second, the layout should be designed with food safety in mind.

Cooking areas should be separate from prep areas, and there should be adequate space for storing food and cleaning supplies. Finally, the layout should be flexible enough to accommodate future growth. For example, if you plan on expanding the menu or increasing the number of guests served, then the layout should allow for this. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that your commercial kitchen is both efficient and safe.

6. Get the right tech

Any commercial kitchen worth its salt needs to have the right tech. That means investing in quality appliances that can stand up to the demands of a busy kitchen. It also means having the right software in place to help with tasks like menu planning, inventory management, and even customer relationship management. But it’s not just about having the right tech. It’s also about using it in the right way.

That means training your staff on how to use it properly and keeping up with updates and maintenance. With the right tech in place, your commercial kitchen will be able to run like a well-oiled machine.

7. Find staff

When it comes to staffing your commercial kitchen, it’s important to find employees with the right experience. Ideally, you want staff who have worked in a commercial kitchen before and are familiar with the unique challenges that come with this type of environment. Additionally, it can be helpful to find employees who have worked in a ghost kitchen.

Ghost kitchens are a relatively new phenomenon, and as such, there is a lot of confusion about what they are and how they operate. Having staff with experience in this type of kitchen can help to provide some much-needed clarity and ensure that your kitchen runs smoothly. With the right staff in place, you can be confident that your commercial kitchen will be able to meet all of your needs.

Pros and cons of a ghost kitchen

A ghost kitchen is a professional kitchen that is set up for the sole purpose of preparing food for delivery or take-out. Ghost kitchens can be found in a variety of locations, including restaurants, warehouses, and even homes. While there are many advantages to setting up a ghost kitchen, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider.

One advantage of a ghost kitchen is that it can save on rental costs. If you are only using the kitchen to prepare food for delivery, you will not need to worry about factors such as foot traffic and dining space. This can allow you to rent a smaller space, which can save you money in the long run. Additionally, a ghost kitchen can help you to avoid the hassle and expense of maintaining a front-of-house staff. Without the need for servers, cooks, and dishwashers, you can focus your efforts on running the kitchen and preparing food.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to setting up a ghost kitchen. For example, without a front-of-house staff, you may find it more difficult to build relationships with customers. Additionally, customers may be less likely to order from a business that they cannot see or interact with in person. As a result, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of a ghost kitchen before making any decisions.

Pros of a ghost kitchen include:

Lower overhead costs

Ghost kitchens are a type of shared commercial kitchen space that can be used by multiple food businesses. They are typically lower in overhead costs than traditional restaurants, as they do not require expensive dining equipment or front-of-house staff. Instead, ghost kitchens rely on delivery services to bring their food to customers.

This business model has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it allows food businesses to reach a wider customer base without the need for a physical location. Additionally, ghost kitchens can be located in smaller spaces, which further reduces overhead costs. As the demand for delivery services continues to grow,ghost kitchens are likely to become an increasingly popular option for food businesses of all sizes.

Easier to launch

This type of business model has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it is easier to launch and requires less capital than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.Ghost kitchens are typically located in foodservice facilities such as commissaries, shared kitchens, or repurposed retail space. This allows them to take advantage of existing infrastructure and save on costs.

In addition, ghost kitchens often use cloud kitchens technology, which enables them to be more agile and responsive to customer demands. As the foodservice industry continues to evolve, it is likely that ghost kitchens will play an even more important role in meeting the needs of customers.

Less risk

Before the pandemic, diners had plenty of options when it came to choosing a restaurant. But with so many businesses forced to close their doors, the choices have become much more limited. For those looking to start a new restaurant, the pandemic has created an opportunity to try out a new concept: the ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens are restaurants that exist only online, with no physical location for customers to visit.

This means that they don’t have to worry about things like rent, utilities, or staffing costs. And because they don’t have to worry about these costs, they can take more risks with their menu and their overall concept. As a result, ghost kitchens offer a unique chance for culinary entrepreneurs to experiment with new ideas and reach a larger audience than they would if they were limited to a brick-and-mortar location. Of course, there are still some risks involved in starting a ghost kitchen. But for those who are willing to take the plunge, it could be the perfect way to start their next great restaurant.

Expand delivery range

When it comes to opening a new restaurant, there are many factors to consider, from location to menu to price point. But one of the most important decisions is deciding what type of kitchen to set up. For many restaurateurs, the idea of a ghost kitchen – a kitchen that is only used for delivery and takeout orders – is an appealing option.

Not only does it save on rent and other overhead costs, but it also allows them to test out a new market without the commitment of a brick-and-mortar location. Additionally, ghost kitchens can be a great way to reach a wider audience, as they are not limited by their physical location. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more restaurateurs are turning to ghost kitchens to launch their new ventures.

Capitalise on increasing demand for online ordering

The online food delivery market is booming, and restaurant owners who don’t want to miss out on this fast-growing trend need to capitalise on it. There are a few key things to keep in mind when setting up an online ordering system. First, make sure the ordering process is simple and user-friendly. Customers should be able to find what they’re looking for easily and be able to place their order with just a few clicks. Secondly, ensure that your delivery times are speedy and reliable. customers shouldn’t have to wait too long for their food to arrive. And finally, make sure you’re offering a competitive price point.

With so many options available, customers are typically price-sensitive when it comes to online ordering. Keep these factors in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to success in the online food delivery market.

Cons of a ghost kitchen include:

Third-party delivery aggregator fees

If you’ve ever ordered food delivery from a restaurant that doesn’t have its own delivery service, chances are you’ve had to pay a third-party delivery fee. These fees can vary depending on the delivery aggregator, but they typically range from £2 to £5 per order. While this may not seem like much, it can quickly add up, especially if you’re ordering delivery multiple times per week.

Additionally, these fees are often passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for menu items. As a result, third-party delivery fees can end up costing consumers quite a bit of money over time. Luckily, there are a few ways to avoid these fees. For example, some restaurants offer free delivery if you order a certain amount of food. Alternatively, you could try ordering through a different delivery aggregator that has lower fees. Regardless of how you choose to avoid them, it’s important to be aware of the potential cost of third-party delivery fees.

Reputation management

In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever to manage your online reputation. With social media and review sites, one bad customer experience can quickly spiral out of control. But what if you don’t have a front-of-house staff to manage customer relations? Here are a few tips for handling reputation management when you’re flying solo.

First, make sure you’re responsive to all customer inquiries, whether they’re positive or negative. If someone takes the time to reach out to you, they deserve a prompt response. Second, be proactive in addressing any problems that come up. If there’s an issue that could potentially damage your reputation, nip it in the bud as quickly as possible. Finally, take advantage of positive reviews and testimonials. Use them to build up your online presence and show potential customers that you’re a business they can trust.

With a little effort, you can successfully manage your reputation – even without a front-of-house staff.

Increased pressure on marketing

In today’s business environment, companies are under increased pressure to achieve success in the marketplace. To meet this challenge, many organisations have turned to marketing as a way to reach and influence potential customers. However, marketing is a complex field, and it can be difficult to know where to start. As a result, many companies hire marketing firms to develop and implement strategies on their behalf.

Marketing firms bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, and they can often help companies achieve their goals more effectively than they could on their own. In addition, marketing firms often have access to research and data that can be invaluable in developing a successful marketing plan. While there are many benefits of working with a marketing firm, it is important to choose the right partner.

Not all firms are created equal, and it is important to find one that has a proven track record of helping businesses succeed. With so much riding on the success of your marketing efforts, it is essential to partner with a firm that you can trust to help you achieve your goals.

Limited customer base

One downside of the ghost kitchen model is that it can limit a restaurant’s customer base to those who are willing to order their food online or through a delivery service. As a result, restaurants that rely solely on ghost kitchens may find it difficult to build up a loyal following of customers.


In conclusion, starting a ghost kitchen can be a viable option for restaurant owners looking to expand their business or for individuals interested in entering the food industry. While it requires careful consideration of logistics and market competition, it can offer a cost-effective way to prepare and deliver food to customers without the added expenses of a physical storefront. However, it is important to thoroughly research and plan before starting a ghost kitchen to ensure its success.

Jared Musson Profile
Business Marketing Specialist at PDQ Funding

Jarred Musson is a versatile writer with a diverse educational background and a passion for all things business. Holding a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) in Multimedia Journalism from Manchester Metropolitan University, Jarred possesses a unique blend of expertise that allows him to dissect and communicate complex business topics with clarity and precision.