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Unlocking New Revenue Streams Through Host & Dark Kitchens

The out of home eating sector has dramatically changed over the last two years. New technology, new behaviours and new investment have unlocked opportunities that simply didn’t exist a couple of years ago.

At a time when restaurant and hospitality businesses are combating rising costs, every potential revenue stream should be considered.

A trend that has picked up recently, particularly in the USA, is the idea of host and dark kitchens. When done correctly, these can provide new sources of income with little additional expenditure, leveraging existing space and staff skills for maximum revenue.

If you’ve not heard of these terms yet or are just unsure whether it’s right for your business, we’ve put together this quick guide to explain.

What are Host or Dark Kitchens?

Dark kitchens simply cater for the delivery and takeaway market only. Investment in the roll out of dark kitchens increased dramatically during the time of the COVID pandemic.

Without much of the expenses associated with eat-in experiences, many dark kitchen’s have been able to achieve exceptional growth, with regions of Manchester and Leeds seeing numbers of kitchens rise by over 90%.

Host kitchens are spaces where dark kitchen brands can set up and operate. Host kitchens have emerged from the dark kitchen movement. Here, existing restaurants can offer their available kitchen capacity to a dark kitchen brand, or create such a brand for themselves.

How Host and Dark Kitchens Can Deliver Revenue for Your Business

Host and dark kitchens allow existing pubs and restaurants to fully maximise opportunities available in the delivery and takeaway market without interfering with eat-in operations.

As the saying goes: ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’ The last few years have left a permanent impact on consumer habits, and all pubs and restaurants should consider how they can drive revenues in the growing takeaway and delivery space.

However, just because you introduce a dark kitchen into your operations doesn’t mean you need to completely change your pub or restaurant’s marketing or approach.

If you’re concerned about the potential impact of a dark kitchen on your existing business, you can easily create new naming and branding to separate the eat-in and delivery aspects of your kitchen.

It may also be possible to modify the layout of your establishment to further separate the different aspects of your operation, ensuring both deliver maximum revenues e.g. making a dedicated area for delivery pick-ups.

Operating a dark kitchen brand doesn’t just allow you to grow revenues quickly, but it can also be a good platform from which to try new ideas. Food trends change at a rapid pace thanks to the influence of social media sites like TikTok. A dark kitchen can allow you to try new things before introducing them to your main menu.

At a time when every revenue stream is crucial for hospitality businesses, we believe dark kitchens can provide welcome income. That’s why LSG Purchasing partnered with Tiny Cloud Kitchens, pioneering experts in the UK dark kitchen landscape.

LSG members can speak to Tiny Cloud Kitchens to discuss how a dark kitchen model could work for you and ensure you get the best possible solution for your needs.

If this sounds like something you would like to learn more about, why not get in touch with us today?