There are approximately 1,500 ghost kitchens in the U.S., putting it ahead of the U.K. market at 750, but behind China with over 7,500 and India with over 3,500.
Ghost kitchens are projected to reach a $1 trillion global market by 2030, according to Euromonitor research. The rising popularity of off-premises orders has contributed to he growth in the number of ghost kitchens.
- Increased Demand for Food Delivery
Food delivery is convenient; customers enjoy being able to order online and have their meal delivered to them without ever having to leave the comfort of their home. With a 77% increase in delivery orders year-over-year since 2013, it is clear that it is only growing in popularity. The average American orders out at least once a week, and over 20% of Gen Z gets takeout more than three times a week. Younger generations are undoubtedly going to contribute the food delivery's continuing popularity.
Running a delivery-focused restaurant requires efficient workflows, lean operation frameworks, and leading-edge tech. As food delivery demand grows, ghost kitchens aid restauranteurs by creating spaces dedicated to the delivery market.
- Booming Gig Economy
Over 55 million Americans consider themselves part of the on-demand talent framework, with the gig economy slated to grow from $204 billion to $455 billion by 2023. The booming gig economy has caused a massive increase in delivery drivers, equipping establishments such as ghost kitchens with the necessary methods to transport their orders. Third-party options like DoorDash or Uber Eats ensure access to a large market. They’re also easy to install solutions that don’t require a large upfront investment.
- Disruptive Kitchen Technology
In a world where technology is continually evolving, the restaurant industry has experienced a sort of restaurant technology renaissance. Old, disruptive technology is being reimagined in order to streamline kitchen operations better. Ghost kitchens have taken full advantage of this technological evolution; from drones, IoT and mobile kitchens, many ghost kitchens leverage hitech developments to stay relevant and offer excellent service. Ghost kitchens are small, agile, and tech-smart, qualities that are attractive and appreciated by customers.
- Rising Real Estate Prices
Ghost kitchens are becoming more and more popular because of the price of real estate. People who want to own a restaurant don't always have the money to spend on an expensive building in a great location. So, ghost kitchens are often under the radar and secluded. This not only helps the restauranteur save money, but it also reduces their liability in these areas.
- Digital Marketing Power
With consumers spending more time digesting online content, digital marketing is the key to a successful online restaurant. Ghost kitchens can focus their marketing efforts on digital since they don't need to bring customers to their physical storefront.
About the Author
Jacky Yamada is the Customer Solutions Engineer at Star Micronics where he works with customers to offer solutions and solve their pain points, especially in the retail, hospitality industry. He has a background in new product development working with a dedicated R&D team and uses this to help ISVs and VARs to develop new opportunities and markets.