37% of the Italian population uses online platforms for home delivery. The data comes from the latest Censis report for Coldiretti and highlights that at the top of the list of reasons is the lack of desire to cook (57.3%) and to amaze with a special and quality dinner (34.1% ).
And with the rise of take away and delivery , a trend has also grown that could redefine the horeca sector: dark kitchens. This closed form of dining offers a home delivery service only , with no counter or table service, and no customers in the venue. The consumer experience, spaces and costs of catering are changing. Let's see how.
Are we ready for a new consumer experience?
Let's make a small premise: a dark kitchen is much more than a take-away place that does not offer table service, because it provides for a strong digitization in the management of orders and the place . But are we sure that the public is open to such an innovative experience?
The new trends suggest that new ways of convivial consumption are approaching the more traditional ones . Obviously the physical places will not go empty, but with well-optimized delivery and takeaway, even more people can be reached and in a more transversal way.
From a recent analysis by medium.com, 55% of the public surveyed say they order less than once a week and 36% at least once a week . This is done above all via the delivery platform, followed by social networks and official channels. This data shows how habits have changed and specific targets can be intercepted to increase sales.
The digital native Millennial is the typical orderer enthusiastic about home delivery . Since the restaurant as a social place is failing, it is important to focus on the quality of dishes and service. For dear Millennials you could study a menu based on their tastes, also allowing you to optimize the food cost. If hamburgers work better than the first ones, for example, focus on diversifying the burger and sandwiches section, leaving pasta and risotto to other establishments.
In decreeing the best offer, the data collected from online orders will be very useful , and here in fact you can enjoy the true wealth of a digitized business. Customer preferences are collected and it is possible to understand which dishes are most loved, by whom and at what time of the year.
What changes in terms of costs and space in the club?
Classic restaurants are usually made up of a kitchen and dining room, in which the restaurateur and staff rotate. With the adoption of the dark kitchen format, on the other hand, the organization of the spaces changes, becoming restricted and functional.
This is the recent case of the ghost kitchen installed inside a supermarket in Ontario , which will allow users to order ready-to-eat food via the app and pick it up at the agreed time in the store. An experiment that if successful will kick off a market worth 1,000 billion dollars by 2030 .
And from a financial point of view, this catering format economically facilitates personnel costs . There is no longer any need for someone to take the order or stand at the till, because ordering and paying via the app speeds up the purchasing process. And with no tables to serve, there's also no need for waiters and dishwashers anymore.
In addition, avoiding public access and administration in the room also means imitating the huge costs for sanitizing the premises . Not to mention the rents, which grow exponentially with the increase in the square meters of the business.
How to set up an efficient dark kitchen?
The idea behind dark kitchens is optimization. Smaller rooms are equipped efficiently and with a limited, sometimes single, number of people in the kitchen. All needs that the Combi line ovens are able to satisfy because they guarantee an excellent delivery service .
The ease of use does not require specialized personnel and allows you to prepare any type of dish in no time. For example, oil-free burgers and fries in just 90 seconds.
The small size allows you to create a chef station even in the smallest kitchens and the ventilation system inside the machine allows you to use it even without a flue.