CAPE TOWN –
While the global pandemic has changed the future of the restaurant industry, the trending ‘Ghost Kitchens’ have gained even more traction in South Africa.
Ghost Kitchens, dark kitchens or virtual kitchens, whichever you prefer, is not a new concept and is still in its infant stage in South Africa.
And, with the food delivery market booming, it has opened up the door for an expansion in online-only restaurants.
Local entrepreneur Jasper Meyer is a success story with this business model after he launched Smart Kitchen Co in 2015 in Cape Town, while business partners Jake Axelrod and Anthony Theodosiou run Metalab Meals, Pap ‘n Check and ONO in Johannesburg.
WHAT ARE GHOST KITCHENS?
Those online restaurants which you find only on food delivery apps, their food is prepared in a ghost kitchen. They share kitchen space with other brands where they prepare their food. You can look at it like a coworking space for restaurants.
However, some brands do prefer to host their own virtual kitchens.
WHY USE GHOST KITCHEN?
It is cost effective as restaurants have fewer employees,no need to set and serve tables and companies can focus more on what they love doing, making quality food.
Opening up a restaurant is risky and does not come cheap, this option also affords newer aspiring restaurant owners an opportunity to break into the market.
ALSO SEE: HOW COVID-19 PANDEMIC CHANGED THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY
“You don’t have to decorate your restaurant; you don’t have a whole sit-down space. You’re only building the kitchen.
“The biggest hidden cost is the delivery commission, by far, as it's 30% of your turnover,” said Meyer.
According to a study done by Statista, South Africa’s food delivery service market will grow by over 9% and reach close to R10 billion by 2024.
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