Ghost Kitchens – What Are They and How Can I Create a Strong Ghost Kitchen Brand?

During the pandemic, people have transitioned heavily into the online world regarding business and marketing. Everyone got used to not being able to sit and dine in restaurants.

Ghost kitchens have gained in popularity during the pandemic and the concept is still gaining traction. It will most likely take a while even after the pandemic for many to be comfortable eating inside.

The Bold x Collective team has successfully helped many of our clients launch their Ghost Kitchen brand, especially during the pandemic, and have a checklist ready for those that are looking to start theirs.

Before we begin talking about how to create a strong Ghost Kitchen brand, let’s talk about the basics.

What Is a Ghost Kitchen?

Ghost Kitchens (or Dark Kitchens), as the name implies are basically kitchens you don’t see. Ghost Kitchens are commercial kitchens that are meant specifically for food delivery. They do not have a storefront so you will only be able to find them online.

Where Did the Term “Ghost Kitchen” Originate?

The term “Ghost Kitchen” was first used in a 2015 NBC New York article. The article stated that ghost kitchen restaurant owners in New York were found listing their restaurant on many different platforms, giving them as much exposure as possible.

Where Should My Ghost Kitchen Be Located?

Ghost kitchens are best suited for city areas where living expenses and population density are high. In those areas, people tend to like experiencing new cultures foods and going to new places. It’s part of the culture and mentality of life people have in upper-class neighborhoods have. And being in a highly-populated area means more people will be likely come across your restaurant in delivery services when they check certain apps.

Are They Cost Efficient?

Although the concept of dining in a restaurant will never die, there’s no doubt that if you’re trying to run a business, you want to limit your expenses as much as possible. And during the pandemic, there are fewer people willing to dine out than before.

With a Ghost Kitchen, you will save a lot of money on restaurant space and the service cost of waiters. It will allow you to focus primarily on the important aspects of the business – quality of the food, visually appealing packaging, delivery time, employee satisfaction, clean work environment, etc. These will all affect customer satisfaction and keep people coming back.

Now, if you have a Ghost Kitchen, you will need a strong digital presence. This next section will teach you more about how you can increase online visibility, by our team of experts at Bold x Collective.

Online Visibility

Due to their nature of not having a storefront, you can guess that most of Ghost Kitchen’s marketing is done digitally. That means one of the main things you need to focus on is your online visibility. The more people that see you online in the area you are located, the more business you will get.

Utilizing social media will be to your advantage. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok or any social media platform are all your friends when it comes to advertising your business. Most people nowadays use them and you know what they say in business… “Any publicity is good publicity”.  Social media allows you to directly communicate with your followers or audience and build a relationship with them. Interacting with foodies and content makers as well as making use of hashtags will create interest in your business. And always make sure that all your content portrays your brand well.

Email marketing has also always proven to be an effective method of gaining visibility as well. Everyone gets email notifications on their smartphones and most people check them regularly. If you select your audience appropriately, you are bound to get bites regularly.

A few points to note for an effective email marketing campaign is to

  • Not to spam people with your content. Remind them that you’re there, but also make sure you’re not in their face 24/7
  • Be clear and concise in your content
  • Try to always include at least 1 quality image that represents your brand. Images grab people’s attention and make your emails stand out from others
  • Based on who you’re emailing, give them information on certain products that they are more likely to be interested in.
  • Be sure to include a convincing call-to-action.
  • Colour psychology affects how likely someone is to purchase something online, so keep that in mind when putting together the visuals for your campaign.

Websites Are a Must!

Having a website, just like being on many social media platforms will give your brand more visibility. It’s also the best way to show your brand’s personality. A good website design will showcase your brand just as well as social media, if not, better. You have full control over the color scheme, content, and where everything is displayed on your site.

Most importantly you have the most control over your call-to-action on your website. You can also add a blog section to show how you’re interacting with the community, events, or sales you’re having, or how your business is trying to actively help the environment as many people definitely care about it nowadays.

Blogs are a powerful method for gaining traction for your business. When you talk about your business with people, many will automatically just ask for your number or website and if you don’t have one, you may lose potential business with them. 

Target Audience

The type of food you sell or the aesthetic of your brand, content, or website will always attract a specific audience. Having an understanding of your audience and what they value in food and service is a huge aspect of any marketing strategy for a restaurant business.

To learn who your target audience is, you need to ask the right questions. The “Who, What, Why, When, Where, How?” questions. What is the age of your audience?  What side dishes do they prefer with their main course? What are their preferences when it comes to packaging? When do they usually order food? You get the gist.

The more you learn about your target audience, the more you can build your menus and cater to their needs. Knowing about your audience helps in choosing which items are displayed on your menu based on their habits and preferences. It’s useful for choosing which items on your menu will be on sale or which specials you will offer based on what types of foods and drinks are generally ordered during specific times.

Be Genuine

Customers, especially millennials nowadays are very picky about the people and businesses they choose to have a relationship with or trust.  A big part of being genuine is transparency.

Allow customers to give you honest feedback on their experience with your food and service. It lets you take their criticism and advice and improve your business based on it. It also shows people that your brand is transparent and wants to improve wherever you can.

Conclusion

Ghost Kitchens are an amazing opportunity for those that want to launch a successful online business. As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the digital solutions that are required to succeed in this space, as we discussed in this article.

If you’re ready to grow your Ghost Kitchen, contact the Bold x Collective team. We’re here to help, from the brand development portion to the website, digital marketing, and even the social media and content. Let’s get started today.

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