Dual kitchens that allow operators to run dine-in and delivery operations without intruding on each other could hold the key to managing the challenges of the fast-growing delivery market, a leading industry figure has suggested.
Many operators have already reacted to the trend by retro-fitting delivery workstations in their kitchens to cope with the increase in takeaway orders fuelled by third party providers such as Deliveroo and Just Eat.
But Edin Basic, founder of pizza chain Firezza, has seen how operators’ resources are stretched when restaurant and delivery orders peak, particularly during busy periods such as Friday and Saturday evenings. And he think the most logical solution moving lies with dual sites.
“You can’t really open a restaurant now without thinking about delivery, it’s part of reality, so why not design a restaurant that can cope with delivery as well, so that you don’t have to limit this side of the business and you can grow as much as you want? In other words you don’t need to take yourself offline, you just carry on. To do this you need to be thinking about back-of-house and equipment. If you offer pizza, for example, do you have two ovens using the same kitchen staff and separate entrances and waiting areas for the drivers? A dual site means you can run both operations without them affecting each other.
Having been involved with places that offer delivery and eat-in during his career,Mr Basic has seen the dynamics that shape customer behaviour.
“When it is raining delivery is busy because people stay at home; we get an uplift of 20% to 25% on a rainy day as opposed to a sunny day. But when it is sunny or nice weather, the restaurant is busy. A dual site would serve both,” he argues.
Firezza, which operates more than 20 pizza delivery sites in the south of England, has seen the market landscape that it operates in transformed over the last few years, but it still remains very much in growth mode and with ambitions to expand, both in London and beyond.
One of the more eye-catching developments has been the launch of the first Firezza dine-in restaurant, in London’s Dean Street, in the heart of Soho.