The Profitability Of Commissary Kitchens

A commissary kitchen is a standalone facility that generally doesn’t serve the public, except in a limited fashion, for special events and catering to produce additional income. However, many organizations have used these facilities to feed the elderly, hungry, and those in schools and hospitals for decades.

Today’s commissary kitchens have been fashioned into facilities focused on feeding everyone else. When the restaurants closed, appetites didn’t diminish, and foodservice workers still needed to keep their businesses operating if they could.

Due to the loss of many local restaurants, the convenience of a place to base home delivery and Food truck businesses have led to Commissary Kitchens thriving across the country.

Commissary kitchens can have other names that include:

  • Ghost Kitchens
  • Shared Kitchens
  • Virtual Kitchens
  • Commissary Kitchens
  • Cloud Kitchens

Their advent has created new business models that may be more profitable than brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Commissary Kitchen Profitability

The events of the last couple of years have encouraged entrepreneurs to think outside of the box, considering food preparation and customer service. To remain in business and serve the customers they had come to rely on for their incomes led many of them to use cloud kitchens to start virtual restaurants.

The service that used to occur at Fifth and Main is now delivered directly to customers’ doors and businesses. As a result, commissary kitchens are helping many food servicer operators regain the profits they lost in their bricks and mortar locations.

Are Ghost Kitchens A Short-Term Need — Or A Long-term Strategy?

Ghost kitchen trends did not come about during the covid epidemic. Instead, the movement began in earnest around 2017. However, ghost kitchens already established filled a niche that needed filling when the recent pandemic emerged. After that, other operators noticed the trend expanded as home delivery became routine. In addition, many chefs and foodservice businesses got in on the game as public facilities were shuttered.

Due to their success, they are being used by more than food truck operators and caterers are. So, many new businesses need to use these facilities, and it is safe to say the ghost kitchens are here to stay, as they fulfill a need.

The Cost Of Doing Business With A Commissary Kitchen

The building and the kitchen are the most expensive pieces for starting a restaurant, other than real estate or a long-term lease. A well-equipped commercial kitchen has costs that keep all but the most financially fit from creating a new food concept.

Suppose you remove the cost of the high dollar location and the real estate. The price of a kitchen alone will return more profits if your business is a food truck, catering company, or delivery-only brand.

Starting A Commissary Kitchen As A Business

Setting up a Ghost kitchen requires the same commitment to sanitation and proper food handling as a five-star restaurant. However, it does not require a pretty face at an expensive address. Permitting and inspections will be necessary, but decorating and furnishing will not.

Equipping A Cloud Kitchen

Every commercial kitchen has basic refrigeration requirements, ranges, steamers, holding boxes and heated shelves, combi ovens for versatility, processing equipment, tables, hood systems, sinks, and enough space for said equipment. Consider a blast chiller/shock freezer for menu expansion and reduce food waste.  A ghost kitchen should look like any other professional kitchen, thinking about the overall flow and the food leaving the facility.

Equipping a Ghost Kitchen properly from the start, will enable you to service those with a food truck operation startup, catering, or a new branded concept, for delivery only. Before starting, make a plan, find a location, then get help from professionals that have helped others get started, too.

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