A lot of people dream of having their own restaurant business. They thought of everything from furniture to ambiance and also how they are going to share the profit.
But after estimating the investment involved in starting a restaurant business, they might have to put their idea on hold. After all, getting rent for the dining place, buying expensive cutlery and crockery, spending on decor and ambiance, managing a large staff, combine to put a lot of financial pressure on a person.
Most restaurateurs are struggling to turn their dream into reality. Among the ones that get successful in taking their first step, 25 percent fail in the first year itself, and unmanageable expense is one of the primary reasons behind it.
But the advent of technology has addressed almost every challenge one faces in his daily lives. Likewise, we have a reliable solution to this problem too.
If the rent, decor, salaries, and furniture are too expensive to bear then get rid of them.
A long while ago, this statement sounded delusional. But today, technology has made it a sweet truth to believe in the form of “Ghost Restaurant Model.”
Before diving into how ghost restaurant works and how to get started with it. Let’s first dive into what it is.
What are Ghost Restaurants?
A ghost restaurant, aka a delivery-only restaurant or virtual restaurant, is one of the latest trends today that attempts to solve the challenges faced by startups in starting their own restaurant business. It strictly offers a delivery-only experience to customers. This type of restaurants doesn’t have any store forefront. Customers neither pickup their food nor visit these restaurants. They order their food via an app or a website, and the restaurant itself delivers food to their customers via a 3rd-party delivery service.
How Does a Delivery-only Restaurant Work?
The working of a virtual restaurant is similar to a traditional restaurant as customers arrive at the restaurant, check menu, order their food, got the food, eat, and pay for it.
The significant differences are that there is no physical location where customers can come; it’s an app or a website. The physical menus are replaced by digital menus, and lastly, orders are placed via an app which acts as a waiter.
The app automatically notifies the restaurant that an order has been placed along with all the required details of order as well as customer. The restaurant prepares the order, and 3rd-party delivery service takes the food to its destination. Once the order has been reached to the customer, all the relevant parties get their share of payment.
Here are some handy tips to start a ghost restaurant
1. Conduct Proper Research
In order to set up a virtual restaurant, startups must gather all the details about legal requirements such as food production, permits, food safety, fire safety, and business licensing. Laws related to food businesses are stringent; hence startups must ensure that they comply with it.
2. Keep it professional
If you are an individual who is planning to have your own restaurant business, then this is for you. Maintain a certain distance between your professional and personal identities. Try not to intermingle your business and personal finances to avoid any confusion. Always keep a record of the loans you have borrowed for the restaurant either from a friend, relative, or lender.
3. Take Business Thoughtfully
Most of the time, people think of having their own restaurant out of the cooking hobby. While it is advisable to turn a hobby into a business, but treating the business like a hobby can bring trouble. In order to make a business successful, it must maintain a professional image in the market.
4. Maintain the Quality
Quality of the product is considered as one of the most crucial factors to ensure business growth. This same applies to a ghost restaurant. In a restaurant business, virtual or traditional, the quality depends on the skill, expertise, and experience of your professionals along with the kitchen equipment you use. As you are saving a significant amount by not investing in the dining hall and rent, you must focus on the quality of your professionals and the equipment you have.
5. Take Reasonable Prices
Price is one of the critical aspects that must be considered while planning a virtual restaurant. In case a restaurant put high prices on their dishes, it would be challenging to retain customers, if it were too low, it would be a struggle to get settled in the market. Prices also have an impact on brand image. Some people associate high rates with greediness while low prices indicate poor quality.
So, for a head start, restaurants must compare their prices with competitors and offer something similar to it. They can also have seasonal menus offer. So in case of the off-season, they don’t have to pay extra for ingredients and their customers would also get different cuisines.
A delivery-only restaurant offers customers everything they want - a dining experience that saves time with the comfort of their home. It is prudent to think that ghost restaurant will always have customers when they provide the right products at the right prices with effective marketing strategies.