Are Dark Kitchens the Future?

The phrase ‘Dark Kitchen’ has been popping up in recent years but with the recent COVID-19 pandemic this phenomenon has taken on a life of its own. A ‘Dark Kitchen’ is a kitchen only used to supply takeaway food with no option for sit in dining. As takeaways represent a staggering 1.45 billion to the Irish market there is clearly a potential opportunity for restaurants. Due to the pandemic, restaurants have had to close their doors during the busy tourism season and reopen amid expensive COVID-19 restrictions to ensure customer and staff safety. This revolutionary approach of having a kitchen strictly for delivery could be the solution. With a space being rented solely for production, significant costs can be saved through the selection of a less desirable location with a small square footage with no seating. Lower rent costs and staff reductions from these changes could be the difference for some businesses. Some dark kitchens are also operating as a number of different food brands that only exists online. By creating numerous brands one kitchen can supply a different cuisine thus increasing the chances of orders and sustainability as sole takeaway offering. Deliveroo has started actively working with dark kitchens through their new venture ‘Deliveroo Editions’ which actively supports local chefs operating out of otherwise closed kitchens. A new way of thinking may be the salvation of many struggling food business amid this pandemic and with the framework for most businesses already in place the transition to a dark kitchen set up could be a relatively easy one. The Cork Incubator Kitchens located in Carrigaline provide a ready opportunity for a ‘dark kitchen’ set up as rentable kitchens with top of the line equipment and food safety certification, follow this link to register http://www.corkincubatorkitchens.ie/.
If you are looking to change how your kitchen works or need advice on the effect on your HACCP plan or staff training feel free to contact us at info@thefoodsafetycompany.ie or call 021 4355917.

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