Kitchen United, the ghost kitchen operator, started with the objective of meeting the changing needs of restaurants and their diners. Of course, they could not have predicted how fast these needs would change. The coronavirus pandemic has sped up consumers’ move to off-premise, but the company, and it’s CEO Jim Collins, are determined to help restaurants meet these needs, now and in the future.
“One of the things we knew about consumer behavior coming into this was that consumers who tried getting food delivered at home, liked it and tended to adopt it and reuse it,” he said on NRN’s podcast Extra Serving.
Now, many consumers must order delivery or takeaway as restaurants across the country have shut down dine-in operations due to social distancing guidelines. He predicts the adoption rate of online ordering and delivery will increase, and it’ll become normal behavior.
But what about right now when restaurants are facing hardships and wondering if they’ll survive? It might not be the right time to overhaul your restaurant concept or join a ghost kitchen facility, but a few small changes can keep a business relevant, said Collins.
He breaks them down like this:
- Refine your menus: Right now, your customers are likely reading your menu on their phone, and your staff might be limited. Cut menu items accordingly.
- Consider family meals: Kitchen United has seen an uptick in sales of larger portions. A hot and ready to serve meal plus a meal kit option for another day is an excellent way to go, said Collins.
- Open your sales channels: This isn’t the time for exclusive partnerships with third-party marketplaces, like Grubhub or DoorDash. Make your restaurant findable.
Above all else, he said: “Don’t give up!”
Hear more from Kitchen United’s Jim Collins on NRN’s Extra Serving Podcast.