Even though the concept of ghost kitchens isn’t anything new, they did happen to be among the few top-performing businesses that gained massive popularity and attracted a large influx of online food delivery orders during the Covid-19 era.
However, if you are probably wondering how this particular business was able to increase its sales volume in times when most other segments of the restaurant industry such as dining and takeaway suffered a significant decline, then this article covers everything important that you need to know about.
The business model that this particular segment of the restaurant industry which we famously know as ‘ghost kitchens’ follows, turned out to be flexible enough to integrate and promote adherence to the new personal health safety protocol of social distancing.
And with further developments in automated technologies such as smart locker systems and intelligent lockers, locker manufacturer US introduced contactless delivery options which almost eliminated the need for unnecessary and avoidable person-to-person interactions.
Thus, all this created a win-win situation for the food businesses using the ghost kitchen concept by giving them the convenience to streamline their normal operations while also ensuring the safety of workers as well as customers through social distancing practices.
But perhaps before moving forward, maybe it is important to briefly highlight the two main concepts that form the basis of this article. These key concepts include understanding ghost kitchens and the benefits of smart locker systems such as contactless delivery solutions.
What are ghost kitchens?
Ghost kitchens, also sometimes referred to as cloud or micro-cloud kitchens and virtual kitchens simply refer to a restaurant’s cooking facility or kitchen which only offers a delivery option.
This means that a ghost kitchen, unlike other types of restaurants, operates without any physically existing storefront and/or dining area to neither take nor serve any takeaway or dine-in orders.
Rather, all orders are virtually received through online platforms or smartphone apps, prepared, and then delivered to customers at their physical address.
Keeping in view with this business model, the use of contactless delivery solutions seemed a favorable option for ghost kitchens to continue operating their business operations in the pre-pandemic manner.
Hence, contactless delivery through digital locker systems added another layer of convenience to further strengthen and streamline their normal operations.
Benefits of smart lockers
Smart lockers, apart from playing an integral part in streamlining the ghost kitchen business model, offer several key advantages and benefits. Some of these are briefly mentioned here –
- Digital locker systems or smart lockers tend to be among the most reliable and secure forms of locker storage units ever built for everyday normal use.
- Smart lockers offer the most convenient manner of storing any item in the digital locker facility. From reserving a locker as per your needs to dropping off and retrieval of any parcel takes only a few seconds.
- Smart lockers are fully automated which means no need for supervision or manual intervention from staff members. This contactless functionality feature also ensures adherence to the social distancing protocol in times of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
- Smart lockers are easy to clean and disinfect when not in use. Since smart locker systems automatically maintain and update their usage log, they can be placed on hold as well as scheduled for routine cleanups.
- Smart lockers streamline parcel delivery as well.
- Digital locker systems and smart locker facilities can be built both inside and outside any premises. Additionally, they also offer the option to be operated at any time of the day.
How can smart lockers help with the seamless pickup of ghost kitchens and the food industry?
As mentioned earlier, the unique delivery-only option of the ghost kitchen restaurant business model and the contactless delivery solutions offered by smart lockers, make it a perfect blend to offer seamless pickup flexibility for ghost kitchens and the food industry.
Remember that almost all the smart locker features contribute one way or the other towards automating and adding great convenience to streamline the normal functions of a ghost kitchen. For instance –
- Smart lockers reduce the need to hire labor that other restaurant business models would require such as those operating manual order taking and over-the-counter delivery.
- Digital locker systems and smart lockers also help avoid cluttered environments which are normally found in restaurants, especially during peak hours. For example, takeaway customers waiting for the arrival of their order at the restaurant premises.
- Smart lockers save customers time by letting them know the exact status of their order. As soon as the order is ready for pick up and is placed in a smart locker box, customers are notified which can then arrive for subsequent collection of their order.
- Since each customer’s order is placed in a separately assigned locker box, there is no confusion as to order mix-up as well. Each client can only unlock his chamber with the exclusive code provided to him for order retrieval.
- Smart lockers also maintain the temperature to keep the quality of the food placed in them in top condition.