The relationship between Dark Kitchens and QSR kiosks

Dark Kitchens are increasingly becoming a trend. Also known as “ghost kitchens”, “invisible kitchens” or “virtual kitchens”, Dark Kitchens are simple commercial kitchen spaces with no option for lunch or dinner. In other words, the food in Dark Kitchens is only available for delivery (food delivery), which reflects the need to implement QSR (Quick-Service Restaurants) kiosks.

Dark Kitchens are optimized for delivery, either directly to the customer or through (online) food delivery platforms. These kitchens allow staff to focus even more on customer needs, enhancing their experience.

Since Dark Kitchens have no dining area, they end up with a greater volume and greater efficiency when it comes to cooking. But we cannot only talk about the increased demand for these kitchens which, although they already existed, are also a consequence of the social distancing caused by the pandemic. Therefore, reference must be made to the large number of delivery companies that have recently emerged and the shared use of these kitchens by different restaurants.

Self-service checkout kiosks for the Burger King
Self-service checkout kiosks for the Burger King

Since there are many customers who have been adhering to these services and who have lunch at a different location from the one where they buy their meal, there is a growing need to use integrated technologies that are an asset in the creation of strategies for deliveries.

The excellence of service in a restaurant is crucial to the success of the business. Therefore, and in an increasingly connected and autonomous world, the important thing is to serve customers in the best possible way regardless of where they are. So, restaurants need to be willing to make changes, namely those that involve Dark Kitchens.

In fact, the self-service kiosks for QSR from PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS are essential, as customers can order from the kiosks and pick them up later at the Dark Kitchens.

The benefits of Dark Kitchens

Dark Kitchens optimize internal operations, as employees don’t have to move around to serve customers. This way, order efficiency is promoted.

But other benefits of this concept can be highlighted:

1 – Cost reduction

Not serving customers at the table ends up, in a way, reducing operating costs while increasing customer convenience. Ultimately, there is a reduction in general expenses.

PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS self-service kiosks for restaurants (QSR) are a continuous innovation
PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS self-service kiosks for restaurants (QSR) are a continuous innovation

2 – Flexibility

Dark Kitchens are distinguished, essentially, by their flexibility, because they are able to adapt to any environment and can also present a different concept depending on the time of year.

3 – Process optimization

Dark Kitchens translate into process optimization. Since restaurants focus more on food preparation than on restaurant management, staffing and equipment maintenance, there is automation and process optimization.

4 – ROI

The fact that there is a reduction in the restaurant’s general expenses leads to a higher ROI (Return on Investment) and in a shorter period of time.

5 – Growth of the online delivery market

While reducing general expenses is the biggest advantage of Dark Kitchens, the real enabler of this concept is the growth of the online delivery market.

6 – More efficient deliveries

Considering that Dark Kitchens directs its efforts to deliveries, this type of service becomes even more efficient, resulting in customer loyalty.

7 – Shared business model

This business model can be shared by several restaurants, which gives the customer more options to choose from. This is beneficial because it increases the visibility and notoriety of restaurants that are just starting out.

Self-service kiosks for the restaurant PIZZA HUT - NORTE SHOPPING
Self-service kiosks for the restaurant PIZZA HUT – NORTE SHOPPING

8 – Focus on quality

Because Dark Kitchens can continually adjust and adapt its menu, there is a constant evolution in the quality of the products presented.

9 – Competitive prices

In the face of reduced general expenses, Dark Kitchens are able to come up with a competitive pricing strategy.

10 – Improved customer satisfaction

Dark Kitchens have changed the business model of selling food. Since they have no dining space, they seek to offer consumers exceptional, fast and comfortable delivery service.

Related Article: How to improve the customer experience in the restaurant – Self-Service Kiosks for QSR (Quick Service Restaurants)

The importance of QSR kiosks

PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS’ self-service kiosks for QSR are fundamental to this Dark Kitchens concept, as they enhance the customer experience in these restaurants.

These self-service kiosks for restaurants have a very positive impact on restaurant revenues and profits, hence their importance for the future of Dark Kitchens.

Self-service kiosks for restaurants (QSR) work quite simply. The customer selects what he or she wants, chooses the desired dish (which he or she can customize), pays with the desired payment method and receives an invoice with an order number. He or she can then go to the Dark Kitchen to receive the order.

QSR: Self-Service kiosks for restaurant area Dolce Vita Tejo - Lisbon
QSR: Self-Service kiosks for restaurant area Dolce Vita Tejo – Lisbon

As far as the Dark Kitchen is concerned, after accepting the order, it goes into “preparation” mode, making this information available to the customer. Once the order is completed, the Dark Kitchen operator presses the “ready” button on the tablet or smartphone and the customer is automatically notified through the monitor that his or her meal can be picked up. Optionally, when the order is “ready” and if the customer has chosen to be notified by SMS, the PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS system sends an SMS directly to the customer so he or she can go to the restaurant and pick up the order.

Generally speaking, we can say that the use of these kiosks provides an increase in sales, a reduction in costs, greater precision in the orders placed, a reduction in waiting lines, focus on production, an increase in the speed of shipping meals, an increase in the profit margin and better service.

PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS has several solutions and develops equipment customized to the needs of each client and project, in this case for Dark Kitchens.