What are dark kitchens?

Put simply, a dark kitchen (sometimes known as shadow kitchens, delivery kitchens, virtual kitchens, and central kitchens) is a restaurant space where no dine-in orders are served. They make 100% of their profits from selling food through either their own or, more commonly, third-party delivery platforms.

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Benefits of Dark Kitchens

Dark kitchens are now being used in a way never done before. They are instrumental in helping restaurant businesses survive, as well as thrive in an era dominated by food delivery platforms and convenience dining. So, what is it about them that’s suddenly catching the attention of so many restaurateurs around India and the globe?

Test new ideas without risk

Why stick to cooking food for just one brand in your kitchen? Capitalise on an efficient space to cook for several - at no extra cost.


Grow with minimal commitment

Short leases and minimal costs make expansion with dark kitchens both a natural progression and low-risk venture.


Consolidate your team

Working in a dark kitchen means you’ll no longer need to clean up after dine-in customers and can work with a smaller, more efficient team.


Work in a high-tech space

A tablet at the centre of your dark kitchen allows you to manage, organise, and facilitate all orders from several delivery platforms concurrently.


Grow your customer base

With kitchens in residential areas, you’ll be paying affordable rent whilst being on the doorsteps of a new pool of hungry customers.

Lower upfront & operational costs

With less upfront investment and operational costs to worry about, you’ll be able to widen your profit margins and develop towards being a successful restaurant.

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Your dark kitchen made to order

No matter what kind of chef you are or restaurant you run, we can provide a dark kitchen that suits your specific needs. Each space is generously outfitted with everything you need to get started. Feel free to bring whatever equipment you already love and use, and we'll help you fit in to your dream kitchen space.

Space


  • Rider Waiting Area
  • Staff locker area
  • Stock Receiving & loading areas
  • Shared Prep area
  • Shared Storage Areas
  • Staff Pantry
  • Restrooms
  • Pot Wash with RO Water

Services


  • 24 hour security
  • Order pickup & processing
  • 100% Power Backup
  • Rider Hand off
  • Cleaning & maintenance
  • Pest Control
  • Delivery logistics
  • Extraction & ventilation
  • On-site support staff
  • CCTV
  • Preferred Vendor relationships for discounts and other benefits

Equipment


  • 3 compartment sink
  • Prep sink
  • Hand sink
  • Commercial hood
  • Treated Fresh Air
  • Power and gas
  • Water heating
  • Grease-trap/interceptor
  • Cold & freezer storage / Chiller & Freezer
  • Dry storage / Dry rack

Utilities


  • Gas points
  • Power outlets
  • High power lighting
  • Cold & hot water lines
  • Fire Suppression system
  • Gas leak detection system
  • WiFi
  • Trash / recycle service
  • Ethernet connections
  • Back up water

Where the F&B industry is headed

Food delivery is a booming industry around the world, and India is no exception. It’s expected to grow almost 30% by 2026, in part due to the pandemic encouraging more people to stay at home, but also due to changing consumer habits. Customers have started to prioritise the most convenient method without compromising quality - and what’s more convenient than getting food delivered to your doorstep?

As it stands, countless restaurants are pivoting towards the food delivery scene. For many, it’s the necessary step in order to avoid bankruptcy. But for some, it’s light at the end of the tunnel and a pathway to huge expansion and success. Recent reports have suggested that up to 40% of restaurants across India may never open after the pandemic - but the crisis brings opportunity. 

Opening a dark kitchen in India puts you a step ahead of your competition. With low upfront and operational costs, you’ll be able to test out brand new ideas without the associated risk - all while pumping out more orders than ever before. From here, expansion is a natural progression. 

Dine-in restaurants will always exist, but their place as the standard restaurant model is being challenged. Dark kitchens are a product of the sharing economy, and recent trends are suggesting that they’re here to stay. As more and more delivery-focused kitchen spaces open up across India to cater to the increased demand for convenient, quality food, food delivery will become the norm. Opening a dark kitchen today allows you to become an experienced and established player in the market long before competition steepens. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How does a dark kitchen operate?

    Dark kitchens are highly efficient and streamlined kitchen spaces. They serve solely delivery orders, meaning they are not held back by the bottlenecks of traditional dine-in restaurants, can work with much smaller teams, and can significantly cut down on other expenses.

  2. How do you start your own dark kitchen?

    Starting a restaurant is never an easy task. You have to organise renovations, source new equipment, find suppliers, and much, much more. Opening a dark kitchen is typically done through an operator like Kitchen Plus. We can help with organising insurance, licensing, renovations, and almost all of the paperwork so that you can move in and get up and running within weeks, not months.

  3. Why are dark kitchens a more affordable route for expansion?

    Without the need to pay for expensive renovations and new equipment, dark kitchens offer restaurants a way to run a delivery-focused business without huge upfront costs. In addition to this, many shadow kitchens are located in residential areas with less competitive rental prices, work with smaller teams, and have shorter-term leases designed to promote low-risk experimentation and growth.

Open a dark kitchen today