Ghost Kitchens: The $43 Billion Restaurant Segment Designed for Takeout and Delivery

By Kiersten Hickman, February 28, 2023

Some of your favorite takeout places may not be restaurants at all. Thanks to third-party delivery services and advancing technology that makes it easier to order takeout or delivery online, ghost kitchens have become a popular part of the takeout industry business model. Ghost kitchens allow food industry workers to prepare food ordered online for delivery directly to consumers without operating out of a restaurant.

With the takeout and delivery industry expected to grow over the next decade, the massive appeal to operating ghost kitchens makes excellent business sense. According to a report from Future Market Insights, the takeout market is expected to grow to $4.05 trillion by 2032, almost double the $2.199 trillion reported in 2022. Research by Hospitality Technology estimates the ghost kitchen market was $43.1 billion globally in 2019 and will balloon to $71.4 billion by 2027.

So how exactly do ghost kitchens work, and how will they change the takeout industry as we know it? TASK used news coverage and insights from the industry trade group Hospitality Technology and the National Retail Federation to explore the concept and growth of ghost kitchens in recent years…