Skip to Content

What do you need to start a ghost kitchen?

In order to start a ghost kitchen, there are a few key components that are needed. These components can vary depending on the menu, the size of the ghost kitchen, and the business needs.

First and foremost, you will need a commercial kitchen. This is a legal requirement in most areas and should include the appropriate appliances and equipment to cook, store, and prepare food. The appliances and equipment should be of a commercial grade quality, and may include items such as an oven, fridge, dishwasher, tables, utensils, and baking dishes.

Next, you will need to plan a menu. This should include the types of food items you plan to serve, the pricing, and the preparation instructions. Also, you will need to decide if you will be using any type of delivery service for your ghost kitchen as this may require special agreements and purchases.

You will also need to obtain necessary licenses and permits for food service in your area, as well as health inspections. Some jurisdictions may also have additional requirements, such as special food service classes.

Finally, you will need to decide how you plan to advertise your ghost kitchen. This could include online promotion, print advertising, signage, and general word-of-mouth marketing. Also, you may want to consider marketing through social media and influencers to increase your visibility.

The above components are the key components needed to start a ghost kitchen. While they may vary depending on the specifics of your business, they should be carefully considered and implemented in order to create a successful ghost kitchen.

Do ghost kitchens make money?

Yes, ghost kitchens can make money. A ghost kitchen is a restaurant operating model that focuses on delivery and take-out orders, bypassing the need for dine-in services. This model eliminates the costs associated with having a traditional restaurant, such as rent, seating, and front-of-house staff, which saves businesses money and allows them to focus solely on providing quality food to customers.

Since many ghost kitchens operate as virtual kitchen space or delivery-only restaurants, they are able to charge a delivery fee that is often quite reasonable. Ghost kitchens are increasingly attractive to customers because they offer convenience and speed.

This leads to an increase in orders, allowing ghost kitchens to produce more for their customers within the same time frame.

Additionally, many ghost kitchens partner with food delivery services, such as Uber Eats or Grubhub, which adds to their revenue stream. Ghost kitchens are also able to tap into a larger market and customer base, as customers not only have the option to receive food from the restaurant’s delivery service, but from the delivery services as well.

Overall, ghost kitchens can be extremely profitable, as all of the money is put towards producing quality, convenient food for customers. This model also allows businesses more control of their schedule and delivery times, making ghost kitchens a viable and profitable venture.

How do I create a ghost kitchen?

Creating a ghost kitchen involves a few steps.

The first step is to decide what type of cuisine you want to offer. This could include anything from a restaurant that serves fast-food or delivery-only options, to a full-service restaurant. Research the cuisine you’d like to offer to ensure your business doesn’t compete with existing restaurant concepts in your area.

The second step is to find a space. Find out what kind of space you need for the type of cuisine, size of the kitchen, and number of employees. Look into different licensing and zoning regulations for the area where you plan to operate your ghost kitchen to make sure the space meets all health and safety requirements.

The third step is to choose the menu. Put together a diverse menu that offers enough variety for customers to pick from. Consider creating items that can be customized and combined, such as a build-your-own pizza or burger.

The fourth step is to create a delivery and pick-up plan. Determine the best way to deliver your food to customers, either through third-party delivery services or your own delivery team. Offer discounts or limited-time promotions to encourage customers to order more.

Establish a pick-up location, either at the ghost kitchen itself or at a convenience store nearby.

The fifth step is to build a website and promote your business. Create an attractive website with photos of your dishes and full menu descriptions. Look into building a mobile app that makes it easier for customers to place orders.

Promote your ghost kitchen through social media, email campaigns and other digital marketing tools to attract customers.

Finally, find ways to optimize operations at your ghost kitchen. Track and analyze customer behavior to ensure you’re delivering the right food at the right price. Automate processes where possible and streamline ordering, cooking and delivery operations to create a more efficient kitchen.

By following these steps, you can create a successful ghost kitchen. With the right strategies in place, you can build a business that delivers quality food, creates loyal customers and maintains a steady stream of revenue.

What is the average size of a ghost kitchen?

The average size of a ghost kitchen depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the kitchen needed to support the menu offerings, the amount of equipment needed to prepare the food, and the customer base the kitchen will be servicing.

For example, a ghost kitchen serving small-scale orders to local customers may be able to get away with a kitchen of a few hundred square feet, while a ghost kitchen preparing large-scale orders for multiple catering companies may require closer to 1,000 square feet.

Additionally, kitchens located inside larger restaurant spaces may be able to utilize the existing kitchen infrastructure and require less square footage than a stand-alone ghost kitchen. Ultimately, it is important to evaluate the needs of the business in order to determine the appropriate size for the ghost kitchen.

How do ghost kitchens operate?

A ghost kitchen operates by preparing and serving food exclusively for delivery orders, without having a traditional dine-in option. These virtual restaurants operate out of a central kitchen, which could be a commercial kitchen, specialized ghost kitchen facility, or a restaurant kitchen.

They focus on creating and serving food for delivery services like DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub, instead of customers who come to the actual physical location.

The main goal of a ghost kitchen is to capitalize on food delivery services and grow revenue without having a traditional customer-retailer relationship. Restaurants or food businesses rent kitchen space in which they can create menus and meals, typically at a reduced rate compared to opening a traditional space.

Then, they list their food items on popular delivery services and handle orders, payment processing, and delivery (either internally or via a third-party provider) — all without ever having to meet a customer directly.

This virtual restaurant model enables restaurants and food businesses of any size to respond quickly to demand and reservation requests, experiment with new recipes and discover what’s popular among their customers.

It also requires significantly less overhead, as there is no need to hire staff to greet customers or operate a dining room. The restaurateurs can focus on perfecting their recipes and optimizing the delivery process, without having to worry about wait staff, seating capacity, or other traditional restaurant costs.

A ghost kitchen is a great way for restaurants to leverage existing kitchen and delivery infrastructure to create and serve food without a storefront.

Is a ghost kitchen a good investment?

The decision to invest in a ghost kitchen largely depends on the specific business plan and objectives of the investor. With restaurants increasingly moving towards digital ordering and delivery services, creating a ghost kitchen is a valid approach to growing a restaurant business.

Depending on the initial capital and other resources available, this concept could provide a great opportunity to increase sales, reduce operational costs, and create a unique business.

Ghost kitchens provide a unique and cost-effective option when compared to establishing a physical restaurant. The cost of labor and rental costs associated with a traditional restaurant can be avoided to some extent, making a ghost kitchen a more cost-effective option.

In addition, these kitchens are better suited for on-demand catering services and are designed for maximum efficiency. This can be beneficial for streamlining the workflow and enabling food orders to be fulfilled efficiently, regardless of volume.

On the commercial side, the ghost kitchen model allows restaurants to penetrate different regions or cities through existing delivery networks with minimal investment. This could potentially widen their customer base, increase sales, and create a unique brand within the local region.

In addition, orders placed through delivery services bring in higher margins compared to orders from a traditional restaurant.

Ultimately, investing in a ghost kitchen requires careful consideration of objectives, budget, and resources, to determine if it feasible for a given business. If done correct, a ghost kitchen could be a great and cost-effective option to expand and grow a restaurant business.

Who is investing in ghost kitchens?

Ghost kitchens, sometimes referred to as dark kitchens, are a relatively new concept in the restaurant industry that have seen a surge in popularity due to the pandemic. Ghost kitchens are essentially dedicated kitchen spaces without a traditional restaurant attached, which allows for delivery-only restaurant brands to offer their services using third-party delivery apps such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Due to the pandemic and corresponding shift in consumer spending habits toward delivery, big investors have taken note of the growing ghost kitchen trend and have begun to invest heavily in the industry.

Private equity firms have been some of the earliest and largest investors in the ghost kitchen sector. For example, Thayer Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, has invested in Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura’s delivery-only Cyber Kitchen.

Other private equity firms, such as Equilibrium Capital, also have begun making investments into ghost kitchens and related technology.

On the other side of the spectrum, large restaurant chains are beginning to invest in ghost kitchens, as well. Restaurant chains such as Wendy’s, KFC, and M Burger have launched delivery-only ghost kitchens in order to diversify their offerings and keep up with the current market trends.

Lastly, venture capitalists and angel investors are helping to fund ghost kitchen startups such as Basket, Ghost Kitchen Plan and Kitchen United. These companies assist restaurants in setting up and managing ghost kitchens, and designing technology and software platforms.

All in all, ghost kitchens have continued to attract a range of investors since the pandemic began. Private equity firms, restaurant chains, and venture capitalists are all investing in the industry to capitalize on the new market for delivery.

How big is the ghost kitchen industry?

The ghost kitchen industry is growing rapidly, and is projected to be worth more than $1 trillion dollars within the next decade. Currently, the global ghost kitchen market size is valued at $10 billion and is expected to reach $36 billion by 2026.

In recent years, the industry has grown in popularity thanks to the low costs associated with running a ghost kitchen, as well as its impressive scale. With most of the operations meant to be purely digital, companies are investing in tech to improve their customer experience and capitalize on the ever-growing demand for delivery-only restaurants.

Apart from traditional fast-food chains, higher-end restaurants such as those serving fine-dining cuisines and multi-cuisine restaurants have started investing in the ghost kitchen model. As customers continue to embrace the idea of delivery-only and ready-to-eat food, the industry is expected to witness significant growth.

Also, more startups focusing on ghost kitchen models are entering into the industry, as experts predict that a large number of existing restaurants will adopt the food delivery trend. This shift is already evident, as many multi-brand hospitality groups are converting their restaurants into ‘cloud kitchens’, while independents are closing their dine-in facilities and transforming their brick-and-mortar operations into food only delivery models.

As a result, the ghost kitchen industry is set to expand exponentially in the coming years.

What are the disadvantages of a ghost restaurant?

Ghost restaurants have gained immense popularity in the restaurant industry in recent years. However, while they offer a lot of benefits, there are some disadvantages that entrepreneurs need to consider when setting up and running a ghost restaurant.

One of the biggest disadvantages of a ghost restaurant is the cost associated with setting it up. Although the cost of setting up a ghost restaurant is typically lower than setting up a full-service restaurant, the overhead and startup costs can still be significant.

For example, you’ll need to pay for three key areas: licenses and permits, equipment, and marketing and advertising. Additionally, the costs associated with the delivery side of the business, from delivery apps to driver wages and gas, can quickly add up.

Another challenge associated with ghost restaurants is finding, hiring, and retaining kitchen staff. Since there is no traditional restaurant setup, you’re likely to need more experienced and skilled kitchen staff who can work in a more limited space.

Additionally, you need to make sure that your kitchen staff can work quickly and efficiently to ensure your customers receive their orders on time.

Finally, it’s important to understand that a ghost restaurant can’t take advantage of a lot of income streams that a full-service restaurant can. For example, you won’t have the benefit of alcohol sales or impulse orders from people in the restaurant.

You will also only have limited opportunities for upselling.

Overall, while a ghost restaurant is a great way to get into the food industry, you need to be aware of the potential challenges and cost associated with setting up and running your business.

Does Chick Fil A use ghost kitchens?

No, Chick Fil A does not use ghost kitchens. A ghost kitchen is a kitchen space dedicated to preparing food for delivery-only restaurant brands. These spaces typically do not have their own storefront or dine-in seating.

They may use a single kitchen space to house two or more restaurant brands, allowing them to maximize usage of the space. However, Chick Fil A has its own restaurant spaces with both a drive-thru or walk-up window as well as an indoor seating area, and they do not use ghost kitchens.

What problems do ghost kitchens solve?

Ghost kitchens provide a number of benefits to both restaurant owners and customers alike. The biggest advantage for restaurant owners is the ability to expand their business without the need to invest in costly real estate.

By eliminating the expense of a traditional physical storefront, restaurateurs can reduce overhead costs and focus more of their financial resources on food and service quality. This allows them to open and operate multiple dining concepts in the same location, creating more revenue and efficiency.

From a customers’ standpoint, ghost kitchens offer convenience, speed, and affordability. The fact that they don’t require a physical address means customers can get their food faster, allowing restaurant owners to reduce wait times.

In addition, ordering take-out from a ghost kitchen can be far less expensive than dining at a traditional restaurant. This allows customers to save money on meals without sacrificing quality or taste.

Overall, ghost kitchens offer restaurateurs a way to expand their businesses and reach new customers while saving time and money, and deliver a convenient and affordable product to customers.

What is the difference between a ghost kitchen and a dark kitchen?

A ghost kitchen and a dark kitchen are similar in concept, but have different implementations.

A ghost kitchen is typically an online-only restaurant without an accompanying physical restaurant. It only operates with delivery orders placed online and by phone. The orders are fulfilled by the ghost kitchen itself or can be delivered by an external third party, such as a delivery service.

A dark kitchen, on the other hand, is a physical cooking space for fast-food or restaurant chains. It usually comes with ovens, stoves, deep fryers, and other tools and appliances to enable production of orders from multiple restaurants at once.

They tend to be more of a corporate-style kitchen, where a chain can run multiple locations out of one kitchen, creating economies of scale and efficiency that would otherwise not be attainable with a single-location physical restaurant.

In both cases, the food is delivered to the customer’s door. The difference lies in the type of establishment, core business model, and infrastructure used.

How many ghost kitchens are there in the US?

As the exact number of ghost kitchens operating in the US is not known. However, estimates suggest that the total number of ghost kitchens has been steadily increasing over recent years and that there are likely over 11,000 ghost kitchens currently operating in the US.

This number is expected to continue to grow as more restaurants, delivery services and emerging food brands turn to the ghost kitchen model to reduce overhead and better serve their customers.


  1. How to start a ghost kitchen, it’s easier than you think
  2. How to Start a Ghost Kitchen (2023 Guide) – On the Line – Toast
  3. How to Start a Ghost Kitchen in 13 Steps – Fit Small Business
  4. Checklist For Opening A Ghost Kitchen – Restaurantware
  5. How to Start a Ghost Kitchen: Requirements & Equipment