Over the past two years, ghost kitchens have risen to the top in the food service industry. The main reason for this is the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted the landscape from indoor dining to food delivery/takeout.
There are currently 1,500 ghost kitchens operating in the United States with many more to come. In fact, the ghost kitchen sector has grown into a staggering $43 billion dollar industry with a projected growth of $71.4 billion by 2027. Needless to say, ghost kitchens are here to stay.
So, what exactly is a ghost kitchen & what stainless steel equipment is needed to operate one?
In this article, we’ll briefly discuss the definition of a ghost kitchen & give you some IMC stainless steel solutions that will complement your ghost kitchen lineup. Let’s start.
What are Ghost Kitchens?
A ghost kitchen (sometimes known as a cloud kitchen or a virtual kitchen) is dedicated commercial kitchen area that only produces takeout, catering & delivery orders. There is no indoor space for dining whatsoever.
The major advantages of ghost kitchens are less overhead & low start-up costs. This is because many ghost kitchens are significantly smaller than standard restaurant kitchens, so many are equipped with the bare basics to get the job done. With the emphasis on delivery/takeout, there is less time & money spent on indoor aesthetics & no service staff is needed.
But, as with any kitchen, ghost kitchens need certain stainless steel equipment to even function efficiently.
IMC Stainless Steel Solutions
So you now know what a ghost kitchen is, but the question of equipment presents itself. The following are a list of stainless steel solutions that will bring any ghost kitchen to the next level:
1. Prep Equipment – You can’t prepare ingredients & build your finest meals without some kind of tabletop surface to work on. You’ll need a durable, reliable flat surface that is easy to sanitize. This is where stainless steel worktables come into play.
Prep equipment doesn’t just mean worktables though, this also includes mixer & slicers stands. These special types of equipment act as a dedicated space for your large blenders, deli slicers, burners, griddles, etc.
Lastly, prep equipment can also be used as temporary storage when orders are ready to go out. This was especially important during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when worktables were the backbone of any curbside pickup operation.
Take a look at some of these select IMC stainless steel prep items:
2. Storage Equipment – Investing in proper storage is necessary in any ghost kitchen. When ingredients & utensils are not in use, storage equipment will keep your work area tidy & neat. Having a random assortment of supplies & food items lying around the work area is a surefire way to reduce your productivity & poses a safety hazard as well.
Depending on your kitchen configuration, you may need a base cabinet, wall cabinet or a standard upright storage cabinet to get the job done. You may even need multiple cabinets to sort your items efficiently.
If space is really tight, a wall shelf may be used as a quick replacement for a dedicated cabinet. Numerous wall shelves will need to be set up strategically to get the most storage life out of your workspace.
Here are a few IMC storage products that can aid in your journey:
3. Maintenance/Cleanup Equipment – Lastly, we will focus on hygienic equipment. Maintaining an acceptable level of cleanliness & practicing good hygiene will undoubtedly extend the life of your business. This is especially true when dealing with food products.
There are a number of items to consider such as hand sinks, compartment sinks, mop sinks & dishtables. Let’s briefly break down each:
*Hand Sinks – For hand cleaning purposes only. Mandatory for nearly all food establishments.
*Compartment Sinks – For cleaning all utensils & wares. The number of compartments will vary, but most establishments have a basic 3 compartment sink to get the job done.
*Mop Sinks – They help in cleaning the premises, mainly the floors. Keeping your environment clean is key.
*Dishtables – If you have a dishwasher set up, dishtables are useful for sorting the dirty & clean dishes/plates.
The truth of the matter is most maintenance/cleanup equipment has a specific purpose, try to optimize the best combination of equipment to keep your facility clean & healthy at all times.
Obviously, there are other vital cooking products to consider for your ghost kitchen such as ovens, fryers, kettles, etc. The above are just a few examples of stainless steel equipment to get any ghost kitchen up & running. IMC/Teddy manufactures & tailors each product to best fit your given space, whether it is a large multi-room kitchen or a smaller ghost kitchen. For a closer look at IMC’s products, click here.
To learn more about ghost kitchens, check out this interesting cover story on ghost kitchens via NBC News: https://youtu.be/dJqn3TSEPow