After recently opening its fifth delivery kitchen site in Balham, London, Wagamama has instructed property agents to identify more suitable locations to support its ‘delivery only’ strategy in the UK.
It is focusing on territories where there is a high proportion of target customers that aren’t in a catchment area for delivery from the brand’s established restaurant estate.
Designing a delivery kitchen is a different proposition to designing restaurant kitchens, and executive chef, Steve Mangleshot, admits the company has a “few eyes on it” when new locations come on stream.
“The worst thing you can do is design a kitchen for delivery that ends up being too small because then it’s actually not fit for purpose. We keep very close to it and it’s just about being mindful of what we’re putting on our menu. We need to make sure that whatever we offer for delivery, it turns up to your house, looks fantastic and tastes absolutely superb.”
Once the size of the delivery kitchen has been established, the next step is to understand the flow of service and the equipment needed to assist that.
“At that point it’s about how much volume we’re going to put through the site and how big our holding facilities are, so our walk-in fridges and freezers, for instance.”
If there is one thing that Mr Mangleshot has learned from being involved in the creation of delivery kitchens so far, it is that not every space is the same.
“Some of the spaces that come up can be really good properties and offer value for money, but sometimes they’re a bit odd-shaped so you have to be more clever about how you put the kitchen in, where the drivers come in, and where deliveries arrive and get stored.
“There is thought that goes around it, but touch wood we’re pretty good at getting some really cool sites and giving the guys a really good environment to work from,” he adds.