Rational’s Trend Talk ghost kitchen webinar #3: evolution and growth

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RATIONAL's third Trend Talk webinar on ghost kitchens focused on operating your facility efficiently, effectively and profitably

Michael Jones, editorial director of FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant magazine, chaired Rational’s latest Trend Talk webinar on 9 June. The webinar, which can be viewed in full, here, was the third in a series looking at ghost kitchens, with particular emphasis on operating your facility efficiently, effectively and profitably.

After welcoming more than 400 viewers from 40 countries Jones interviewed Simele Shange and Khalipa Zulu, co-founders of Jozi Cloud Kitchens in South Africa. They spoke about the challenges and triumphs of setting up their facility in Johannesburg. It opened in March 2021 and has really taken off. The couple’s long-term aim is to “copy and paste” the concept to other locations.

Shange and Zulu have partnered with OrderB4, a delivery platform that will help Josi Cloud Kitchens realise its dream of sustainable growth. Randy Murphy, CEO of OrderB4, based in Austin, Texas, US, talked about his order and delivery platform.

With a background in tech as well as an operator of multiple brand foodservice outlets in multiple locations Murphy realised his platform could be a perfect fit with the ghost kitchen concept. He considers ghost kitchens as a way for the middle-market restaurant operators, in the US at least, to make a profit. This sector has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.

He sees the platform developing to become a ghost kitchen operating system, adding in rent collection, payment of utility bills as well as providing marketing data and communication channels for the individual operators within a facility.

Maintaining standards

Next to present was Stephan Leuschner, director international key accounts for Rational. A former executive chef and business consultant he is an expert on ghost kitchens.

The main challenge he addressed was maintaining standards. Leuschner reckoned the emphasis needs to shift to a more process focused kitchen rather than operational focused, with standardization in equipment eliminating any fluctuations in staffing

Looking to the future he sees increased automization and use of robotics in ghost kitchens. Currently, he sees two different types of set up emerging; multi-operator shared kitchens, such as Jozi Cloud Kitchens, and multi-brand single operator models with multiple brands in one kitchen, operated by one company.

Throughout, the audience contributed thoughtful, and thought-provoking questions. The webinar demonstrated how the concept of ghost kitchens, in a short space of time, has become a dynamic foodservice sector.

Further details:

The first Rational Trend Talk webinar can be viewed here.

The second Rational Trend Talk webinar can be viewed here.

For more information about future events, please visit here.

Jacquetta Picton