A Ghost Restaurant Can Maximize Efficiencies and Increase Profits

The shift that has occurred in the takeout, delivery and catering space over the last few years is nothing short of monumental and how we run restaurants is fundamentally changing as a result. On this season on The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, we have covered in-depth the principles of leadership, staffing, differentiating your foodservice channels, and where to strategically invest in your off-premise program because the off-premise paradigm shift is more significant than the one saw in 2010 with fast casual.

The last major shift in the hospitality industry resulted in the creation of hundreds of fast casual brands in the mold of Chipotle and Panera Bread. One thing that we can credit to the fast casual segment is that it changed the look and model of restaurants forever with a focus on speed but also not willing to compromise on quality. Fast casual proved a model that some said was not possible and changed the landscape of the restaurant industry.

Today, off-premise driven by technology, and a generation that grew up on convenience is changing the restaurant model again, likely forever. By now, we have all heard the term ghost restaurants or virtual restaurants, and that this is the next big thing. The definition of a ghost restaurant depends on who you talk to but basically, it is defined as a restaurant that only offers delivery — no storefront. The savvy restaurants are using this model to their advantage, and more innovation around ghost restaurants is happening all the time.

Channel differentiation and maximizing efficiencies are key to generating profits with your off-premise channels. Assuming your restaurant is already built and a major renovation may be too costly, so how can you do it? Kitchen Podular, partner of Monkey Group, is an innovative company that builds customized modular kitchen solutions. These kitchen solutions can include a make-line for food preparation and a service window to divert off-premise orders away from the retail wait area, aka your very own ghost restaurant. Mike Manion, CEO of Kitchen Podular, joins Erle Dardick and Valerie Killifer to talk about the restaurants of the future and how they will operate.

Show Notes

15:26 - What does it mean to isolate production lines?
20:54 - How can existing restaurants use Kitchen Podular to fulfill the 5 pillars?
27:35 - The old restaurant model is getting turned on its head.

OO:46 - The supply chain is the key to keep up with market demand.
03:59 - Mike Manion, CEO of Kitchen Podular, welcome to the show!
09:41 - How will ghost kitchens or ghost restaurants impact off-premise operations?

 

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Tales from a Former Server: A Little Authenticity Goes A Long Way

Tales from a Former Server: A Little Authenticity Goes A Long Way

By an Anonymous Former Server, as part of our new 'Tales from a Former Server' column

It’s not very often that I find outstanding service. Sure, most places give good service but outstanding? That’s hard to find. That’s why I’m giving a shoutout to Richard, the man behind the counter who reminded me that outstanding service means keeping it real.

The other day, I went to an Italian fast casual that just opened up near my office. The whole office was buzzing about the place, so I figured I’d give it a try. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with the sincerest of welcomes. This came from the man behind the glass who I can only assume is the manager, given his lack of standard uniform. Being that this was my first time, I had no idea how to navigate the menu. Yes, it’s a fast casual and yes, those menus are typically no-brainers, but I hadn’t been to a concept with this exact menu set up, so I wasn’t sure what was available or how to order.

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Tales from a Former Server: It's Called the Hospitality Industry for a Reason

Tales from a Former Server: It's Called the Hospitality Industry for a Reason

By an Anonymous Former Server, as part of our new 'Tales from a Former Server' column

The other day my coworkers and I went out to lunch. I won’t say the name of the restaurant, but we are there quite often and it has become our usual lunch spot. Being a local sports bar, we do not expect the level of service one would find at a fine dining restaurant. Sometimes the food takes forever to come out or is made incorrectly, and usually we say nothing and accept it for what it is. As a former server, I tend to be very forgiving when it comes to mess-ups. When I go out with friends or colleagues, I tend to get defensive on behalf of our server. Yesterday was one of those instances.

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