Delivery Platforms

What is a Virtual Kitchen? | Superorder

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August 2, 2023

What is a virtual kitchen?

If you are a restauranteur, chances are that you have come across terms like virtual kitchens, ghost kitchens, or delivery-only restaurants. They have been all the craze since 2016, and recently, because of the pandemic, more and more restaurant owners are looking to create a virtual brand.

Covid-19 has forced restaurant owners to look into different ways to survive, and one of those avenues has been virtual kitchens, otherwise knowns as delivery-only restaurants. Although virtual kitchens is a relatively new concept, top analysts expect it to evolve into a trillion-dollar industry by 2030. The restaurant's virtual model can be confusing at first, so we have written this article to demystify virtual kitchens and give you all the info you need to decide whether virtual kitchens are right for your restaurant.

A Quick Definition

A traditional brick and mortar restaurant is simple. Guest come to the physical location, sit down, and enjoy their meal. With the rise of online platforms like Ubereats, Doordash, and the rest, restaurants have also offered guests the chance to order food for delivery.

Virtual restaurants have no brick-and-mortar location and only serve food through delivery or takeout orders. Virtual restaurants increase restaurant revenue - while leveraging underutilized kitchen space - by tapping into the massive customer base that food-delivery platforms have built up. Opposed to ghost kitchens, you can run a virtual restaurant out of your existing brick and mortar store!

restaurant employee packing up a delivery order

How do they work?

In virtual restaurants, guests order their favorite dishes online for delivery or take-out only. Here's a real-life example: David's Thai Restaurant's owner, David, had spent years building up a successful brick-and-mortar restaurant. David sees the value in growing his daily deliveries but doesn't want to open a second location yet. He decided to open up a virtual restaurant brand, Pad Thai Bar, and grow his delivery sales.

Guests can now find his virtual kitchen brand, Pad Thai Bar, online, and order from his virtual kitchen.

How to open your ghost kitchen

If you are looking to run a virtual restaurant out of an existing brick and mortar store as opposed to building out a location in a ghost kitchen, it's wise to make sure there's an overlap of ingredients between both your virtual and physical location. The next step is to make sure that your operations can handle the increase in volume! Our partners have seen a higher number of orders once they have onboarded virtual brands and you should figure out the best plan of action for that increase in volume!

We've helped several restaurant operators figure out the best ingredient synergy between their physical location and their virtual, delivery-only restaurant as well as walked them through how to prepare operationally for the addition of a new brand. If you'd like to chat briefly with one of our team members, please visit this site to make a short appointment.

restaurant cook preparing a pizza

Steps to Start a Cloud Kitchen

Starting a virtual kitchen is similar to starting a restaurant. You need to create a menu, cook delicious food, and serve guests. However, unlike an actual brick and mortar, setting up a virtual brand is a bit different. Here are several steps you need to take to ensure that your virtual kitchen is a success!

  1. Research what cuisine (American, Mexican, Italian, etc.) is in demand in his area.
  2. Research competitors prices and price your food accordingly.
  3. Create a brand name and logo that will catch customer's attention.
  4. Create a yelp page, website, and arrange for a photographer to take pictures of your virtual concept's foods.
  5. Upload your concept onto food-delivery platforms and order a POS tablet or an aggregation tablet to keep track of your orders!
  6. Wait for the tablets to arrive, activate them, and launch your virtual restaurant!

wooden open sign with gold lettering

Start Your Virtual Restaurant with Superorder Today

All of this takes a lot of work that operators mostly don't have time for. Luckily, here at Forward Kitchen, our launch experts will help you every step of the way to make sure that your launch is successful! Here's how our team will help you build a delivery only virtual restaurant!

  1. To ensure that a virtual restaurant will have demand, a launch specialist will analyze market trends from your city including:
  2. The most frequently ordered cuisines.
  3. Brand names earning positive reviews.
  4. Prices on popular menus.
  5. We'll then help you come up with the right menu based on our data-driven findings.
  6. Our branding team will work on a crisp logo and catchy name for your virtual restaurant.
  7. We'll send you a menu and a brand concept for approval and after getting your go ahead, we'll arrange the following:
  8. A photographer to stop by your restaurant to capture high-quality photos of the foods you will make.
  9. Create a Yelp page, Google Places tag, and an eye-catching website to solidify your virtual brand's local presence.
  10. A tablet to be shipped to you (for no cost) to track all virtual restaurant orders from one place.
  11. Once the tablet arrives, a launch specialist will call you and guide you through the launch process and get you on your way!
  12. Begin taking orders and growing your revenue!

If you are ready to grow your restaurant's potential revenue, book a time to speak to one of our launch specialists to learn how to launch your own delivery-only restaurant. Shoot an email to or fill out this form to talk with a team expert!

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