4 magic ingredients to setting up a winning dark kitchen


Mike Faers, CEO at F&B consultancy FIS Group, is an expert in commercial kitchen operations across multiple market sectors. He outlines some of the key trends shaping the design and construction of delivery kitchens.

1. Setting up and operating a takeaway or delivery service requires you to get a number of factors right…

As with any new business, you need to do the correct diligence, namely understand your customers’ needs and wants as well as competition and typical pricing strategy — what’s going to be the one reason customers buy from you? Think about brand marketing and promotional support.

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You need to consider menu design and supply chain creation to drive consistency and deliver your promised customer experience. Operational excellence and kitchen design is fundamentally important to make it successful.

2. Large QSRs have adapted their equipment and workflows to take the lead on delivery…

QSRs are generally set up very well to work a delivery service. They are used to serving customers quickly and accurately with drive-thrus, and with delivery and collection already in their portfolio they are ahead of the curve versus high street operators. Equipment is important.

The procurement lenses of selection are speed, capacity, durability, total cost of ownership and, of course, space. It has required some additional thinking around hot-holding and workflows to optimise operations.

3. It is possible to make a profit from delivery, but not everybody will master it…

It is always a challenge to make profits in our industry but the good news is you can. With regards to the pandemic, delivery and takeaway was already a key part of an operator’s strategy and will continue to be so.

Post-pandemic, however, we will likely see a high street resurgence as we all celebrate being allowed back out to socialise, but then it will settle back and we will see some operators drop out of the market.

4. The menu and the kitchen design must be in sync to succeed in delivery…

The key to this is a well-designed menu and supply chain linked to a great kitchen design that enables delivery. You can’t think of this in the same way as you would when designing a restaurant kitchen — it’s a different thought process and consequently the equipment needs to be flexible, for example Adande drawer units which we use as they are so versatile.

They have dual opening drawers, allowing stocking without disruption, and hold the temperature, whereas door fridges lose temperature too quickly. Waste management is also key.

Mike Faers was speaking during a recent panel discussion on QSRs, dark kitchens and equipment for the delivery generation. To view the full article click HERE.

PANEL DISCUSSION: QSRs, dark kitchens and equipment for the delivery generation

Tags : delivery kitchensopinion
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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