Ghost Kitchens: Emerging Opportunities and Increasing Convergence with traditional hospitality

PKF Hospitality Group, March 22, 2023

Vienna – Ghost kitchens – also known as virtual, dark or cloud kitchens – have generated significant interest in recent years as a source of innovation and disruption in the food & beverage (F&B) sector. With an exclusive focus on delivery, these establishments eschew the traditional front of the house – storefront, dining space, furniture and fixtures, wait staff, etc – and cater to customers rather via an online platform; usually a third-party delivery app.

The delivery-only model largely emerged as an emergency response to the closures and lockdowns imposed in the wake of the Covid Pandemic. Restrictions on mobility resulted in an exponential growth in online food delivery with traditional brick-and-mortar dining spaces migrating their operations to online platforms like Uber Eats, Doordash and Deliveroo. However, while enforced isolationism may have been an inadvertent driving factor, sustained growth for the sector is still foreseen as restrictions ease and operations return to normal. Akshara Walia, Director of Research, PKF hospitality group

According to PKF hospitality the online food delivery space was estimated at $150 billion in 2021, having tripled since 2017. Increasing digitisation and the rising number of smartphones worldwide, coupled with ease of application, growing tech-reliance and the convenience driven lifestyle of millennials and Gen Z, are expected to sustain the online F&B space and drive growth for the foreseeable future…