In recent years, online food delivery in Australia has grown exponentially in volume with nearly 4 million Australians aged 14+ (19.1% of our population) now using meal delivery services.
Throughout COVID-19, in-store revenues decreased significantly and those embracing online food delivery are now capitalising the market.
With the rising trend of online food delivery, many restaurants are starting to diversify away from traditional bricks and mortar and towards delivery-optimised or ‘virtual’ kitchens. This begs the question — what is a virtual kitchen?
Virtual kitchens are commercial kitchens without a restaurant attached. So there is no seating, tables or need to be anywhere near foot traffic. They can operate as independent businesses or under the name of an established food brand — some are even recognisable food businesses under new names!
These kitchens operate to serve online food orders, through apps like Uber Eats or via the restaurant’s own website. Virtual kitchens aren’t solely used for food delivery.
Thanks to their low startup costs, quick scalability and the ability to streamline labour, these kitchens have allowed restaurants and food entrepreneurs to experiment with different offerings and quickly understand how their product resonates with customers.
Why does this work? Because you’re cutting costs on front-of-house activities and concentrating on your food. Virtual kitchen facilities, like ChefCollective’s, are optimised for delivery whereby each operator gets a kitchen equipped with basic equipment with no front of the house or dine-in area. All you need to do is cook, ChefCollective will handle the rest.
Since you’re removing table servicing out of the equation and offering a delivery-only service, you’ll save a huge amount on ongoing and upfront real estate costs.
Similarly, from an on-going cost perspective, restaurants can operate those kitchens with significantly lower labor requirements — all they need is one or two chefs or kitchen hands.
Facility providers like ChefCollective take care of everything else like maintenance of the facility, technology to make dealing with online platforms streamlined, cleaning of common areas, pest control but also running orders and interacting with delivery riders.
For restaurants not wanting to miss out on the virtual restaurant trend, partnering with a provider like ChefCollective makes sense. ChefCollective’s purpose-built network of kitchens can expand your brand across Australia at lower cost, lower risk and more upside.