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Are Ghost Kitchens Taking Over the Food Truck Scene?

Food trucks have become a popular option for chefs who want to start a restaurant without the large investment required of a brick-and-mortar establishment. While this is still true, ghost kitchens have started to rise in popularity among both new and established restaurants for their quick setup and low overhead costs.

When comparing food trucks to ghost kitchens, there are many similar benefits. However, ghost kitchens have some additional benefits that have caught the attention of restauranteurs looking for an agile way to serve their clientele.

Cheaper To Get Started

The average startup cost for a ghost kitchen is approximately $30,000. The cost of the vehicle alone for a food truck restaurant before the costs of supplies, personnel, permits, and marketing, can range anywhere from $40,000 to $150,000.

Minimal Equipment and Staff Needs

Many ghost kitchens provide a facility that is fully equipped so that your restaurant can begin serving customers immediately. Some even provide training, access to technology, staff, and supply chain resources.

Ready To Open In Weeks

A food truck can take three to twelve months to open. Many ghost kitchens can open in well under a month, with some ghost kitchen companies upholding that they can have your restaurant open in under two weeks.

Established restaurants that are opening ghost kitchen locations in addition to their main restaurant may favor the speed of opening a ghost kitchen compared to a food truck. Also, new restaurants may require the speed that comes with opening a ghost kitchen to have an opportunity to become profitable sooner. Whether you are a new or established restaurant, the speed of ghost kitchen setup is an attractive feature.

Quick Location Expansion

Ghost kitchens allow you to open multiple new locations as quickly as you opened your first location. Additionally, companies such as Reef Kitchen, have a network of ghost kitchens internationally. This means that your restaurant could quickly expand and become an international brand in a matter of weeks and at a much smaller investment than a food truck.

No Vehicle Maintenance Costs

Unlike food trucks, there are no vehicle maintenance fees. In fact, there are typically no maintenance fees for the ghost kitchen itself, simply a monthly fee for use of the service and facilities.

Food Delivery Focused Model

The world ghost kitchen market size was estimated at over $40 billion in 2019 and is expected to be over $70 billion in 2027. Worldwide delivery food service, in general, is estimated to reach $97 billion in 2024, with the United States being the second-largest market in online food delivery.

The setup for ghost kitchens is specifically built to facilitate and streamline online food delivery so you can take advantage of the growing market. Many ghost kitchens come with an online payment processor, support staff for customer service, and access to a managed delivery service.

Ghost kitchens have carved out their place in the foodservice market. Time will tell if they become the new standard for take-out dining in the United States and worldwide. At the moment, they have become a popular alternative to food trucks for restaurant owners who want to quickly start a delivery food service with a lower initial investment.

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