Online ordering and delivery for restaurants had been flourishing for years before the arrival of COVID-19. Today, many restaurants rely nearly entirely on the internet ordering and delivery to stay in business. Over the last several years, this development has created various difficulties and possibilities, leading to innovative new ideas such as the virtual restaurant.
Users are becoming more and more reliant on meal delivery apps due to the limits on dine-in services. The virtual kitchen, also known as a dark, ghost, or cloud kitchen, is one of the most popular answers to this problem, owing to the lack of typical seating choices. The virtual kitchen fad has evolved into a full-service business as customers continue to accept this “new normal.”
Because of the coronavirus shutdown, many restaurants and cafes are forced to ‘go virtual’ to keep their businesses functioning and trading. Fortunately, you can quickly and inexpensively set up and manage a virtual restaurant in WordPress.
Our industry has to adapt to this “new normal” and pursue new ways of doing business due to the pressure to constantly evolve and maintain supremacy in the face of fierce competition; operators have channeled their passion and commitment to providing delectable food by devising innovative solutions.
What is a Virtual Restaurant?
A virtual restaurant offers a full menu (QR Code Menu), but only appears online and via meal delivery apps, with no typical “restaurant” location. Virtual restaurant operators have more flexibility because the brick-and-mortar components of the restaurant are removed, although these establishments are often linked in some way to a regular restaurant.
An established restaurant owner may build a virtual restaurant that operates from their current kitchen but offers an entirely new menu, allowing them to make the most significant use of their inventory while perhaps encouraging more orders and business overall.
This restaurant idea is quite popular in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. For example, Kitchen United is a well-known virtual kitchen and restaurant business.
This foodservice business model enables restaurateurs to reduce the typical costs associated with providing a dine-in experience. In addition, using a virtual restaurant or ghost kitchen strategy for your restaurant company can help it stay open throughout the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
To attract more customers, these virtual businesses may utilize various names and visual styles while delivering the same or almost the same menus as they would ordinarily. To cater to distinct, particular groups, a restaurant may even develop numerous virtual brands for its business.
Today, an increasing number of restaurateurs are exploring virtual restaurants to expand their customer bases and stay afloat during these challenging times.
See what Wikipedia says about virtual restaurant
Benefits Of Having A Virtual Restaurant
Just as you’re opening a new route for your restaurant to generate orders with each virtual restaurant brand you establish.
Similarly, here are fifteen compelling reasons why conventional restaurant operators should create new virtual businesses:
- Ease in costs associated with finding a place
- Budget-friendly operational cost
- Reach your customer’s demographic
- Significant growth in online orders
- Maximum kitchen space
- Freedom to edit and customize the menu
- Ensures Social Distancing
- Fast and efficient service
- Dedicated staff
- Higher Profits
- Better opportunities to experiment
- Ability to meet the food delivery demands
- Exposure to a broader sector of the audience
- Less risk of failing
- Allows kitchen sharing
- Reduce staff cost
- Safe & hygienic
How to Launch Your First Virtual Restaurant:
The start-up of a virtual restaurant is less expensive and more manageable than establishing a real restaurant. Another reason to start up a virtual restaurant is that studies show that people prefer home-delivery eating alternatives, especially in times of epidemic.
Let us see a ten-step guide that will work best for you while setting up a virtual restaurant
Step 1- Plan a concept for your virtual restaurant
Once you’ve decided to take your restaurant online, you’ll need to make some considerations. What changes do you intend to make to your brick-and-mortar brand when it goes online? Are all of your menu items suitable for cooking at home?
Are you going to create just one virtual restaurant, or will you try out a few different concepts to make the most of your time and space in the kitchen?
Step 2- Identify your niche
Evidently, Startups demand extensive market research and the identification of a unique gap in the present market. Analyze the demographics of the people you’re trying to reach. Consult your acquaintances and passers-by on the street. If you discover that there are already a number of 5-star curry restaurants in your region that deliver, try to analyze what they are doing with their brand and what are your shortcomings.
Step 3- Develop a website for your virtual restaurant
Developing a website helps you with the overall working of your business. Providing you with landing pages and your audience with clarity about your menu, services, location, and many other aspects. Make sure the website presents your audience with flawless navigation and complete responsiveness.
Step 4- Learn the local community laws
Dealing with constitutional protections is critical. Also, to start your service, you’ll need an operating license and a permit.
Step 5- Maximize the kitchen space and build your contactless digital menu
You must produce your food in a licensed commercial kitchen in order to legally sell it to consumers. Additionally, the number of shared-use kitchens or commercial kitchens that rent by the hour, day or month to multiple tenants has increased dramatically over the years. (Think of it as a coworking space for chefs, caterers, food trucks, and other food producers.)
Learn how to create QR Code Restaurant Menu ?
Step 6- Identify your service providers and partners
A food distributor and supplier will be needed to supply your kitchen. Local providers may be a better option than national brands, especially if you’re looking to add value by offering specialty or locally raised or grown products.
Step 7- Partner with trusted third-party apps, online ordering sites, and food delivering services
These businesses charge a fee in exchange for supplying one of the most important parts of your company’s success. To communicate with customers, process online purchases, and offer reliable delivery fulfillment, you’re using a technology platform that was designed by someone else.
How it works is as follows:
- A customer comes across your menu and decides to order something.
- You consent to the order.
- You complete the order and pass it on to a third-party delivery service.
- Your order is delivered to the consumer by the delivery partner.
Step 8- Create buzz via various social media platforms
Use social media to grow a following in a consistent and unique manner. Also, make sure you request feedback on your meal. Be responsive to your consumers and community. Develop a rapport with your audience. Word of mouth is still the finest marketing you can get.
Pay attention to what your community has to say and answer their needs in a unique way. Fill in the blanks. This is how you’ll figure out whether your product is right for the market or not.
Step 9- Utilize offline markets as well
When opening a delivery-only/ virtual restaurant, the most challenging task is likely to be getting your customers. There are no signs or areas that people can drive by and observe by accident, so finding consumers will need you to employ a variety of inventive traditional marketing methods such as fliers, adverts, and word-of-mouth, events, and so on.
Step 10- Launch your virtual restaurant successfully
The best tip for newcomers is to keep things simple. To cut food expenses and waste, choose ingredients that may be used in numerous dishes. Before delivering anything to a paying client, you should conduct extensive testing.
Thus, concentrate on high-quality food that travels well, keeps its temperature, and arrives on time. What could you do to provide your customers a unique experience that they’ll remember the next time they purchase food?
Is it possible to send a handwritten note? Isn’t it a fun collectible? Build your brand by keeping your customers content.
After introducing a virtual restaurant using the digital menu, restaurants’ sales improve by more than 50% on average. A virtual restaurant puts your business on the cutting edge by developing a brand-new, data-driven menu from your existing kitchen and materials.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to get creative and innovate your menu, then facilitate client delivery with less risk or increased expenses associated with operating another physical site. A virtual restaurant allows you to repurpose ingredients you currently have in an existing environment.
Instead of opening new sites, virtual restaurants make use of existing capacities, such as ghost kitchens or existing restaurants. This allows them to get up and running rapidly. They don’t even have to hire staff in many circumstances, relying on restaurant owners to prepare the meals. While marketers rely largely on third-party distribution, the customers are the ones who have to pay for it.
The pandemic’s need for takeout, combined with the need for independent and other full-service operators to produce cash flow during the past year, has resulted in a surge in demand for these ideas, with tens of thousands expected to be in operation.
For the time being, the future of the hotel sector relies significantly on food deliveries and ghost restaurants People throughout the world are continuing to embrace this trend, and it doesn’t appear that it will go away anytime soon, but rather continue to increase
Create an online presence for your restaurant and allow customers to place orders and have their food delivered by using your website or mobile applications.