Most people in the food industry have heard about the recent rise of “GHOST KITCHENS”. These unique businesses go by many other names, like “cloud” or “”DARK” KITCHENS”, but they operate the same way.

These food businesses are a response to the rising importance of convenience. They redefine what restaurants can be and how they can best serve their customers.

These changes have many questioning what the future of food service will look like. Others ask whether these businesses are a revolution that will bring lasting change or if they are just another food trend.

Although it’s too early to say for certain, these questions have food experts from every part of the industry sharing their thoughts.

By evaluating the “CLOUD KITCHEN” industry and its current trends, we can get an idea of whether it's here to stay or simply a passing fad.

One thing is certain in either case: “GHOST KITCHENS” are changing how we see hospitality.

The current state of “DARK KITCHENS”

Remote kitchen businesses have opened all over the world, but you’re unlikely to find them on a map. That’s because the “DARK KITCHEN” industry focuses almost entirely on food delivery.

There are no dining areas, servers or even storefronts in most cases.

This provides a cost-effective way for chefs and professional kitchens to offer their food without the costs of expensive physical locations.

The “CLOUD KITCHEN” industry has seen two main approaches:

1. Developing commercial kitchen spaces used only for meal preparation

This is often the more popular option as those entering the food industry can keep their costs down. Some kitchen crews even share space and equipment, allowing more affordable access to commercial appliances and facilities.

2. Letting existing restaurants design a menu specifically for delivery

This allows them to increase their profits and customer base. This menu can even follow a new theme under a different name if the owner wants to experiment with different ideas.

Thanks to the emergence of food delivery services and applications, the “GHOST KITCHEN” industry has become increasingly attractive.

Customers are benefiting as well. With new and existing kitchens designing delivery menus, consumers have more options readily available than ever.

The “DARK KITCHEN” industry is much more than its kitchens, though. It continues to change rapidly, with new technologies and services developing all the time.

“Data researchers and analysts at Statista estimate the value of the “DARK KITCHEN” industry in 2022 at nearly €120 billion, a figure expected to nearly double by 2027.”

Future trends in “DARK KITCHENS”

While it’s difficult to predict the future for these unique businesses, current trends can provide an idea.

Data researchers and analysts at Statista estimate the value of the “DARK KITCHEN” industry in 2022 at nearly €120 billion, a figure expected to nearly double by 2027.

This data is encouraging for the industry, but can we expect consumer demand for food delivery to continue rising as it did during the peak years of the COVID-19 pandemic? Many experts and investors seem to think so.

Market researchers from Savills, a UK-based information resource since 1855, point out that many countries have seen companies putting money into “CLOUD KITCHEN” start-ups.

France, Sweden, Britain, China and the United States have companies contributing to the “DARK KITCHEN” trend.

New services related to delivery, commercial kitchen space and appliance rentals continue to change the industry landscape.

With new ideas still appearing and winning funding, the trends for “GHOST KITCHENS” seem positive. Since these businesses probably aren’t going away soon, the food industry must continue to adapt.

With fewer barriers to entry than ever, food businesses may see an increase in competition across the market.

“DARK KITCHENS” aren’t necessarily a threat, though. They provide new ways to earn a fair profit for current hospitality businesses and those interested in getting started.

Thanks to the lower costs of “DARK KITCHENS”, there are now more ways to engage with the food industry than ever.

“A food business that can only retain customers with speed, consistency and quality needs reliable appliances.”

How Maxima can help you adapt

The efficiency, durability and affordability of Maxima’s kitchen equipment match the demands of “DARK KITCHENS”. A food business that can only retain customers with speed, consistency and quality needs reliable appliances.

With the right tools, anyone can capitalise on the “GHOST KITCHEN” trend and benefit from its unique opportunities.

he entire line of Maxima’s catering equipment is backed by technical support, extensive warranties and guaranteed order dispatch within 24 hours.

These benefits are designed for food businesses with no time to waste. Maxima’s nearly 50 years of catering equipment experience shows in its customer satisfaction rate of 9/10.

Maxima supplies everything a “DARK KITCHEN” could need, from basic equipment to speciality items.

Appliances for Cooking Equipment , Refrigerating , Food Processing and more are available either new or refurbished. The Refurbished include everything from professionally inspected and repaired machines to unopened returns.

With service and equipment of such high quality, you can confidently supply a “DARK KITCHEN”, knowing every tool is professionally protected.

Case study

The French tech company Not So Dark is a new and exciting player in the “GHOST KITCHEN” market. Having received significant funding from capital companies, this start-up may bring innovations to the market.

Not So Dark (recently renamed Clone) sets itself apart with a business model that benefits from the power of data. They have created a software solution that analyses food preferences to find the menu items with the most profit potential. 

Online technology publication reports that the company already has 150 partners operating in over 100 European cities.

Not So Dark's data-driven approach has allowed them to refine their operations continually. Similar to other platforms, they offer digitised ordering and online marketing systems.

Unlike others, Not So Dark’s tech solutions track consumer behaviour, analyse trends and gain insights into their markets' needs.

This information helps them make informed decisions about their operations and ensure that they provide the best possible service. They even manage the recipes and ingredient sourcing. All their partnering kitchens have to do is prepare fresh, delicious food.

Not So Dark is a perfect example of how original approaches to old ideas can change an industry. By embracing technology and data-driven decision-making, they have created a successful business model that grows our understanding of what “DARK KITCHENS” can achieve.

This is an inspiring example of how companies can adapt to change and stay ahead of the competition.

Preparing for the future

Although the “DARK KITCHEN” market is growing, all businesses should prepare for the uncertainty of the future. The equipment you select now should meet your needs as the market changes and develops.

That’s why catering businesses turn to Maxima’s versatile, long-lasting equipment. The broad range of quality options provides the flexibility to design your ideal kitchen at an affordable price point.

With a range of customisable and modular equipment, rearranging or expanding your operation is simple. Each appliance is designed for ease of use, so although the features are advanced, learning them is easy.

More importantly, Maxima kitchen equipment is built to handle the intense demands of commercial kitchens. Heat, moisture and repeated use naturally wear on appliances over time. Maxima considers this in each machine design to keep them running at top efficiency year after year.

Maxima equipment has the ideal balance of maximum affordability without sacrificing quality. This means the equipment can last as long as it’s properly maintained, preventing unexpected breakdowns and the need for frequent replacements.

Customisable features and modular designs will allow your kitchen to grow with the pace of business. No matter what challenges come your way, you’ll have machines built for the task.

Make sure your business is ready for the future of the food industry. Choose the equipment that meets your needs and comes with a support system of commercial kitchen appliance professionals.

“DARK KITCHENS” appear to have a good future in the food industry, which may continue to drive change and encourage new companies to enter the hospitality sector. Business and technology are evolving all the time, allowing for faster food production and delivery than ever before.

“DARK KITCHENS” represent a great opportunity for those looking to start, diversify or scale their business in a cost-effective way.

With so many different possibilities available, it's time to take advantage of this new wave of change. Paying attention to the latest technology and trends can help businesses succeed in this new era of food service.

For current and potential hospitality business owners, now is the time to assess if a “DARK KITCHEN” is right for you. Explore the Maxima webshop to find professional equipment for any food speciality.