Thinking Beyond Brick-and-Mortar: How Mobile Kitchens Can Help Your Brand
Mobile kitchens have seen a significant rise in popularity over the past year, thanks in large part to the expansion of restaurants looking to increase their reach in creative ways as the world continues to navigate the effects of COVID-19.
The sudden popularity of these “virtual restaurants” has led to success for businesses that once seemed out of reach.
Mobile kitchens offer an array of possibilities to enhance your business. Whether you want your “virtual restaurant” to deliver to customers faster, experiment with different locations short-term to see where you’ll be primed for success, or you’re looking for a stress-free, temporary location to help you prepare for any culinary challenge, mobile kitchens are your personal food truck that goes anywhere you want.
THE BOOMING BUSINESS OF MOBILE KITCHENS
Amid local and state guidelines as well as the individual precautions Americans have taken to help prevent the spread of and risk from COVID-19, “mobile kitchens” have become more popular in 2020 than ever before.
Between trimming the costs of physical real estate and labor, restaurants have the ability to stay in business by optimizing the conventional restaurant model to accommodate sales and transactions without traditional dine-in spaces that, in many states, are limited or not permitted due to “stay-at-home”/”shelter-in-place” ordinances.
By placing a priority on “delivery services,” mobile kitchens have parlayed their operations into a niche service that’s created an economic boom for the industry, which may very well outlast the pandemic itself.
Projections released in April found that the on-demand food delivery services market is poised to grow by almost $105 billion in the next three years. It’s this reason that’s caused operators across the U.S. to look at the multi-faceted benefits of investing in mobile kitchens for both the short and long-term.
THE VERSATILITY OF MOBILE KITCHENS
If you’re unfamiliar with “mobile kitchens,” you may know them by their other names: “virtual kitchen,” “virtual restaurant,” and “ghost kitchen.” While used almost interchangeably, there are subtle differences.
Virtual restaurants offer an alternative way for your business to supplement it’s revenue. How so? A virtual restaurant with “mobile cloud” capabilities allows your mobile kitchen to be closer to your customers. Want to attract more orders from a centrally located corporate location, like Wall St.? With a virtual restaurant, your business is perfectly positioned to prepare, cook, and deliver orders faster and more efficiently, ensuring your customers receive a five-star order, every time.
Say you want to expand your business; perhaps open a new restaurant. Mobile kitchens offer the opportunity to “test drive” locations before you commit to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. In Big 7 Travel’s “The Future of the Restaurant Industry in 2020” report, the average rent in New York City alone for a restaurant in a “semi-trendy location” can cost upwards of $120-per-square-foot. Just as with virtual restaurants, “mobile cloud” technology helps businesses use data to learn which areas yield the highest customer demand and most success.
Mobile kitchens are also great for events, allowing your brick-and-mortar restaurant to hit the road and reach new markets and consumers with a fully-equipped, temporary kitchen that can be stationed in a location that’s most advantageous for your needs and goals.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MOBILE KITCHENS:
Caterers: travel with ease with an on-the-go and fully-equipped kitchen
Virtual restaurants: run a delivery-only business model, parking closer to where your customers are
Brick-and-mortar restaurants: break out of your four walls and explore new concepts and locations without the financial commitment and risk
By forgoing the stress of having to build your own mobile kitchen from scratch (i.e. renting a truck and individual pieces), you can focus on what matters most: serving the best food and making the best impression with customers.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR MOBILE KITCHENS
In 2020, restaurants have taken more control over how they operate and how they reach more customers. Mobile kitchens are self-sufficient, offer easy and effective solutions, and are designed to maximize profitability, while reducing barriers in the way of your business’ needs.
From experimenting and testing, to refining and expanding, mobile kitchens create an experience that enhances the traditional aspects of a restaurant with the minimalistic effectiveness of providing delicious meals to an ever-expanding audience.
Food trucks have a unique challenge when it comes to permits and licenses. Everything from food safety to where you can park is regulated at the federal, state, and county levels.