How to Run a Ghost Kitchen

So, You’re Functioning as a Ghost Kitchen!

Essentially, restaurants are operating as ghost kitchens; short staff, limited menu and 100% take-out service.

Here are some great tips to successfully shift your business:

  1. Evaluate your menu for the items that travel and heat up well so they taste good as if they are eating in your restaurant.
  2. Outline re-heating instructions with all orders.
  3. Create value-added specials for families such as dinner for four: Appetizer, Salad, Entrée & Dessert.
  4. Offer bottled soda and water as a drink offering.
  5. Be prepared with proper packaging including utensils, napkins and condiments. Don’t skimp on bags and boxes.
  6. Create a Thank You item (or items) to be included such as
    1. $5 Gift Card for the future when full dining is available
    2. Handwritten note to express your appreciation
    3. Freebie (Cookies/Fried Doughnuts/Bread/Small Portion of another menu item) Get Creative…They will LOVE IT !
  7. Be certain to include a business card from the owner or general manager with a note outlining steps should a customer not be satisfied. If and when contacted, act promptly and courteously.
  8. Pay special attention to order taking AND checking of orders upon completion to ensure accuracy.
  9. Ask about special food preparation requirements.
  10. Add a personal touch by making sure customers know the name of the person taking their order.
  11. Phone calls must be answered as promptly as possible, and in a professional manner.
    1. Thank you for calling (name of restaurant), this is (name), how may I help you?
    2. After taking the order: “Thank you again for calling (name of restaurant), please contact me should you experience any problems with your order, we do appreciate your business, again…Thank You
  12. Pay attention to how the menu items are placed on containers to ensure they look attractive when the customer opens the containers.
  13. Include extra containers of sauces and dressings, as when re-heated, many menu items tend to dry out and a lot of customers just like extra sauce and dressings.
  14. Be sure to track all orders and hold accountable all delivery drivers.
  15. Follow up with all customers later that day or at the latest, the next morning.
  16. A good rule of thumb for managing expectations is to under-promise and overdeliver.
  17. Include a list of future specials and of course, the take-out and delivery menu with all orders.
  18. Utilize the restaurant’s Loyalty Program to communicate with and market to the database any specials.
  19. Create Special Offers to add onto the order amount:
    1. Place a second or third order at the same time for another date and receive 5% and 10% off.
    2. Every fourth order receives a $10 or 10% off discount
    3. Spend $50 and receive an order of spaghetti & meatballs at no additional charge.
  20. Market your meals, deals and special procedures for cleanliness on social media with video and photos.
  21. Document all processes and methods that work for your Take-Out and Delivery Program to incorporate into your operations when business reopens for full service.
  22. We have many family style foil pans, microwavable containers, foam and cardboard boxes. 

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