There are a few silver linings to the events of the past two years—such as increased convenience and usability in virtual services. For restaurant customers, that includes new pick-up and delivery options that may not even require “restaurants” in the traditional sense. “Ghost” or “cloud” kitchens (delivery-only dining services) now do tens of billions of dollars’ worth of business every year.
When opening a ghost kitchen, the basic points to know are:
- You’ll need access to licensed cooking facilities.
- Without a storefront, online branding is essential to building your customer base.
- You’ll likely be contracting with independent delivery services to get the food to the customers.
Well-established third-party platforms are recommended for delivery work, as they are highly cost-efficient and come with their own proven business models. One major brand, Postmates, serves over 10 million users and partners with over 600,000 merchants.
What Are the Benefits of Being on Postmates?
Postmates delivers for a variety of businesses (including all food-provider niches), but “restaurants” and “virtual restaurants” (aka ghost kitchens) are at the top of its list. If your ideal customers include homebound people or busy professionals, Postmates is an especially good choice due to its popularity with consumers who have limited time for their own errands. Postmates is also advantageous if your ghost kitchen will offer late-night or around-the-clock delivery (unlike some services, Postmates operates 24/7).
The company stands out for its overall flexibility and user-friendly app—and its system provides for easy customer interaction and data tracking.
How Do I Get Started?
Thanks to a recent partnership between two delivery giants, you can sign up for Postmates through the UberEats “virtual restaurant” or “restaurant” page. Follow the “Get started” button to the initial information-submission form. Be ready to follow up with the details on your ghost-kitchen plans: basic concept, planned hours of operation, menu with photo illustrations, and whether you are applying as a new launch or reinventing an established restaurant.
A Postmates account ensures your ghost kitchen will be listed as a participating merchant by a known brand name. But since you’ll be one merchant among hundreds of thousands on Postmates, your branding work can’t stop there. Building a profitable customer base will require considerable work in other areas: websites, promotions, market analytics, and much more. In the likely event that branding starts to look overwhelming, a branding specialist is well worth the investment.
Increasing Your Presence
The On Demand Company specializes in helping ghost kitchen restaurants elevate their brand presence. There are three C’s that keep restaurant customers ordering again and again: Cooking, Crafting, and Convenience. While we manage the tech aspect (Convenience), you’ll be free to focus on Cooking (great-tasting food) and Crafting (original recipes and artful presentations) so all points will be covered for building a loyal customer following.
When our brand-leverage expertise is added to the formula, our customers see an average increase of 200% in delivery orders; and their customers’ loyalty is further nurtured through incentives and other standout approaches. What more could you (or your customers) ask? Contact us today to learn more about our proven recipe for success.
- “How to Start a Ghost Kitchen in 13 Steps.” (FitSmallBusiness.com, 09/13/2021)
- “A look inside the $43 billion ghost kitchen industry.” (National Retail Federation, 10/13/2021)