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What Are Ghost Kitchens?

Updated: Feb 12



Source: Wix Media


Ghost kitchen are restaurants without dining space. During the pandemic they became popular and many chefs and restaurants opened a ghost kitchen. Many offer their own delivery service or use popular third party services. Many ghost kitchens let customers pick up their orders too.


Although ghost kitchens are popular they cannot replace dine in restsaurants. Many of these restaurants have failed and other succeeded. They deliver food only and have no place for customers to dine in. Some restaurants rent out use of their kitchen to accomodate ghost kitchens and bring more revenue into their restaurants by promoting another brand.


Types of Kitchens Used



Hope and Main Shared Kitchen will provide work space to 40-50 people: Source Progressive Charlestown

Some ghost kitchens rent commissary kitchens that provide kitchen equipment to cook, package and deliver food without restaruant space. These kitchens often are shared by more than one business or food vendor. This reduces the cost of opening a restaurant. Orders can be taken online or over the phone and delivered.


Many ghost kitchen have their own delivery service or use delivery services like Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash, PostMates, and 2ndKitchen. Some restaurants or ghost kitchens with larger customer bases rent out commercial kitchens with more specialized kitchenequipment. Commercial kitchens are licensed to prepare and serve food and come in all shapes and sizes. Some rentals come with their own set of rules to follow.



Commercial Kitchen Source: ReDoubt News


Incubator kitchens are temporary kitchens associated with a restaurants, food trucks or kiosk. They are pop up kitchens for delivery orders often connected to a food truck, shared kitchens , a restaurnant, and mobile incubator kitchens for those that want to cook on the go or in smaller unit.


These kitchens come with equipment needed to cook and deliver food. They allow smaller businesses to enter the market easily. This type of kitchen provides an opportunity for new chefs to enter the market or someone that wants to produce a food product for the commercial market.


Kitchen pods are usually created from shipping and cargo containers. The containers are made of steel or other sturdy materials. The companies can convert a kitchen pod into a prep kitchen, pop up restaurant, food truck, or ghost kitchen.



Mobile Kitchen : Source: Snapshooter 46 Flicker


Kitchen pods come with kitchen equipment, safety features, and plumbing hookup. They tend to be dark sometimes and without windows. Companies will custom design these units for businesses and deliver them to their location.


Pros and Cons of Ghost Kitchens

A ghost kitchen has lower overhead or costs less than starting a restaurant. It can be opened more quickly and is convenient and more flexiblle. Reguar restaruants can develop more income by partnering with ghost kitchens When restaurants partner with another brand they will incur more costs.


Ghost kitchen have delivery or pickup service only so it hard to market and advertise their brand. Meals have to tailored to delivery and many customer want eco-friendly containers used for takeout food. Ghost kitchens have a growing market but will not replace brick and mortar restaurants where customers want to go out and have a meal.


Ghost Kitchens in CT


Photo Source: JCFILHO

Mr.Beast Burger started in 2020 by Jimmy Donaldson who partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts. He lives in Wilson North Carolina. It is a online ghost kitchen that operates out of established restaurants in many states. It helps restaruants produce another income stream. His ghost kitchens are located in several cities and towns in Connecticut.


The are located in Waterbury, Naugatuck, Southington, Bristol, Danbury and other locations. Customers can order through their app, have it delivered, or pick it up at the restaurant. Hours may vary for each restaurant. They have burgers,

chicken sandwiches, The Impossible Burger, fries, grilled cheese, and chocolate chip cookies.



Photo Source: JCFILHO




Cucina Italia 18 located at 207 Greenwich Avenue in Stamford , CT is a ghost kitchen that sells salsa, white pizza, shrimp scampi, red pizza, Detroit Cast Iron pizza, and pasta. It was started by Chef David Raymer with farm to table concept. Customers can order online through MenuMavin have orders delivered or pickup orders after 1:30 pm.


Farmer's Palatte is located at 207 Greenwich Avenue in Stamford. Chef Valon Gjeloshi is head chef. They have vegetarian soups, variety of salads, bowls, chicken and vegetarian wraps. and smoothies. Customers can order online, have orders delivered, or pickup orders after 1:30 pm.


Flavorism is an delivery service associated with both these two restauarnts in Stamford run by local chefs. It represents a few other restaurants in the area.


Bartaco in West Hartford is an upscale Mexican restaruant with a pickup and delivery services for man of its entrees. Customers can order taco packs for pickup or delivery, rice bowls, family packs, kids entrees, and desserts. Order online or call, delivery or pickup available. They are located also in Westport and Stamfod



Photo Source: Wix Media



References:


Pros and Cons of Ghost Kitchens, by Daniel McCarthy, The Restaurant Times

Flavorism 5 Ghost Kitchens in Stamford Local Chef and Unique Delivery System by Jessica Ryan, CT Bites August 2021

What Is it Like Eating in a Ghost Kitchen, by Terrance Doyle, Eater August 2021

What is a Ghost Kitchen Complete Guide, Cloud Kitchens, by Nate Pollak, November 2023

MrBeast Burger

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