The restaurant craze continues to confound. Grubhub kicked online ordering as one of the first known entities to do so. The age of cheap money ushered in companies ranging from Uber Eats to Door Dash and even Postmates, among a slew of others.
A small portion of diversified tech giants has some exposure to this restaurant sector. While some focus only on providing online ordering solutions, others provide delivery and fulfillment.
Then we heard about Cloud Kitchens by Travis Kalanick and similar companies aim to bring about the same concept for restaurants.
But what are ghost kitchens and why do they matter?
Let’s find out.
Decentralized Ghost Kitchens and More Food Brands
Imagine 30 or more kitchens in one building catering different meals. It’s not like the mall where you can stroll by and order food from someone in person.
These places are kitchens only, you access their menu online, order it and the company (Cloud Kitchens, Ordermark, or others) will deliver the food or connect to those that do.
Cloud Kitchens and other companies are staying busy buying up real estate and building their infrastructure to deploy these cloud kitchens. Ordermark, for its part, has another $120 million to invest in this concept as it raised a recent funding round.
It can be a beneficial concept for all involved in the system.
The aggregators benefit through fees, appreciation of real estate, and other potential revenue streams.
Restaurants can diversify their brand offerings, minimize costs, and fulfill orders for food concepts on places like Nextbite. It serves as a way to bring in more orders for restaurants a more contactless way.
Online Ordering and New Food Brands
This gives a new meaning to online ordering. Where before you could sit select different restaurants and pick up in person, dine in, or get your food to your door, now you merely go fully virtual.
As the only thing you do is virtually browse new brands on platforms like Nextbite or existing partners like DoorDash and Uber Eats and dine in at your home.
It can bring about new opportunities for startups like Cloudkitchens, and other brands that offer space and the necessary infrastructure to set up and run a food brand.
Online ordering companies can shift to creating more solutions instead of simply routing orders from the host of food delivery startups in a singular way.
It is essential to note that there are two types of companies in this sector. Cloudkitchens and similar companies will create the infrastructure providing restaurant as a service…in a sense, while the other component of online options will provide simple ways to route orders and deploy new brands by working with food delivery partners.
This new concept serves as a way for a centralized food company to create new brands and scale them quickly as one could even utilize underused restaurant capacity to spin up food offerings.
Centralized/Decentralized and Safe?
Can you trust a single company to put up different on demand food brands and deliver them with the same care that individual restaurants do?
For instance, if WeLoveFoodTech Co operated a platform that worked with restaurants to create food for its in house brands, can you trust that everyone stays accountable?
Sure, you need a rigorous process initially to ensure overall quality.
A few companies like Ordermark will vet their network of restaurant suppliers. Ordermark will pore through data and use chef expertise, look at the types of restaurants that do well, and create menus that match this demand.
Quality is quite essential to aggregators and as it is to independent restaurants.