Virtual kitchens are a relatively new concept that leverages the tried-and-true walk-in cooler and other kitchen equipment.
The need for virtual kitchens has increased as growth of online ordering (for pickup or delivery) has skyrocketed and foodservice operators have faced heightened consumer expectations for safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That growth offers an exciting opportunity for restaurants looking for additional revenue streams to capture new customers. Let’s explore how virtual kitchen solutions enable that expansion, as well as how KPS Global® walk-in coolers and freezers can help restaurants and other foodservice organizations find the perfect solution for their unique operations.
The Rise of Virtual Kitchens
Statista estimated that the industry of online food delivery eclipsed $22 billion in 2019 – and that’s prior to the pandemic that kicked off even more growth in the sector.
Virtual kitchens, sometimes also called cloud kitchens or ghost kitchens, are the industry’s response to this upward trend.
Virtual kitchen operations are typically conducted in one of three ways. A restaurant may open its own virtual kitchen in a new, smaller space, empowering the operation to produce food more quickly in a different area of its region or city.
They may also choose to rent virtual kitchen space from others to avoid the hassle of sourcing a location and the equipment needed to get the kitchen up and running.
Finally, they may designate an area of their existing space as a virtual kitchen, ensuring they have a space specifically designed to take care of growing online orders.
Regardless of the type of virtual kitchen used, it is critical that one of the most important pieces of equipment for the operation not be overlooked: walk-in coolers.
Crafting a Successful Virtual Kitchen
To operate as efficiently as possible, virtual kitchens need cold storage solutions that offer enough space and ease of access to accommodate the demands placed on virtual kitchen environments.
These cold storage spaces can come in a variety of sizes and uses. Virtual kitchens may opt to use reach-ins for convenient access to inventory, or they may have entire walk-in coolers and freezers specifically dedicated to the virtual kitchen’s capacity and throughput.
The cold storage space can also be shared in cases where the virtual kitchen and the traditional restaurant share the same building, empowering both to make use of existing equipment.
Regardless of the approach, it is critical that these restaurants optimize footprints and workflows to best suit every aspect of their business. That is where a dedicated industry partner like KPSG can enter the picture.
KPSG is committed to leveraging our extensive experience in finding the right cold storage solutions to fit operations’ unique needs to help restaurants adapt to this new era of foodservice.
We specialize in meeting custom cold storage demands and in finding the highest quality, most cost-effective solution possible to begin that journey toward virtual kitchen success.
To learn more, contact us today.