Rational has announced the launch of a new online webinar series in February called Trend Talk, taking an in-depth look at ghost kitchens.
Trend Talks will involve a series of webinars and online discussions covering every aspect of operating a ghost kitchen, including the opportunities they present operators in the wake of the pandemic and the resulting lockdown.
The first Trend Talk is on Wednesday 24 February and will feature speakers discussing the opportunities presented by ghost kitchens, how to design the right kitchen set-up and new food concepts. To sign up for the session click HERE.
As a teaser for the new webinar series, Rational has penned a piece explaining the opportunities presented by the new ghost kitchen boom. Read more below:
As businesses continue to adapt to the changes forced on them by the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many are considering what multifunctional appliances like those from Rational can do to streamline their procedures.
Even before lockdown measures were introduced, delivery and takeaway were becoming increasingly important to many restaurants.
Lockdown has accelerated this trend, along with others like the rise of ghost kitchens, also known as dark, virtual or delivery-only kitchens.
These are centralised production facilities which can produce the menus from a range of businesses for delivery, to both the consumer and, in some cases, the restaurant itself.
With many high street foodservice businesses now operating as hybrids of traditional restaurants and non-public facing production kitchens, they are having to adapt their working processes to accommodate both in-house diners and an increased demand for home delivery.
Stephan Leuschner, Rational’s international director of key accounts, estimates that by 2022 half the turnover of traditional restaurants will come from delivery and food-to-go, with the ghost kitchen market reaching a value of $1 trillion by 2030.
“Operators looking to adapt to these changes will be able to draw valuable lessons from how ghost kitchens operate,” he said.
The primary consideration should be to optimise the available kitchen space. Preparing food for delivery requires more processes than dining in, and consequently space to operate effectively. Most importantly, there needs to be a dedicated area for packaging and collection.
Replacing the traditional cookline with modern multifunctional appliances frees up space in the kitchen, which can then be used to create separate, hygienic areas for meal preparation and packing.
Multifunctional appliances such as the Rational iCombi Pro combi-steamer and the iVario multifunctional cooking system can save up to 40% of kitchen space and also increase the overall productivity of the kitchen, with no reduction in quality.
One of the main features of ghost kitchens is the production of menus from a range of restaurants in one space. This is something that Leuschner thinks many restaurants could learn from.
“By creating or acquiring different virtual brands, businesses can diversify their offering, and increase their potential customers,” said Leuschner.
He continued: “Multifunctional appliances like those from Rational allow smaller restaurants to introduce procedures that help them to compete with larger ghost kitchen facilities. They can easily offer curries, burgers and pizza, at the same time.
“The advantages of being able to produce more food with less equipment should be immediately obvious to many businesses as they step up to meet the increased demand of delivery and food to go.
“The consistency of the results that Rational achieves will also help meet the expectations of quality that customers have, too.”