Will Covid-19 Pandemic help bring Ghost Kitchens into limelight!
Tuesday Apr 21st, 2020
As pandemic effects continue to unravel, Real Estate investors are trying to figure out what concepts and trends will survive and may even flourish.
I believe Ghost Kitchens will come out as a Winner. Ghost Kitchens are 'delivery only' restaurants designed for online meal orders. Also known as virtual restaurants, these are mostly Kitchens(no dining areas) housed in retail/industrial facilities. One Kitchen may be used for multiple restaurants/brands at the same time. They work in close relationships with food delivery apps such as Grubhub, Doordash etc. With many dine-in restaurants fully or partially closed down as a result of the regulatory measures to keep the virus in check, the popularity of these virtual restaurants is growing rapidly. Already many growing companies in this sector are taking over closed restaurants and modifying them into their desired formats. This is working out very well for stressed out Restaurant owners who were tied up in long term leases and still needed to pay for the fixed costs such as rents and utilities. This trend will grow as social distancing is not going to get out of our minds in weeks, months or may be years to come. This concept is also very cost effective as one Kitchen can be used for multiple restaurants/food concepts at the same time and can be in operation 24/7.
One thing that is not going to change though is 'location, location, location'. Real Estate has always been and will always be about 'Location'. The Ghost Kitchens need to be in and around population centers and transportation infrastructure to ensure the timely delivery of Hot Meals. Trends and Concepts will come and go but Real Estate Investment will always be a pillar of Growth and Stability provided it is the right 'Location'.