It is no secret that the restaurant industry has been struggling with this pandemic. The unpredicted lockdown and shut down of most restaurants nationwide has forced many to close their doors permanently. Our hearts go out to those who have had to do.
At Sweetheart Kitchen, Peter Schatzberg, founder, and CEO has worked tirelessly day and night to maintain operations. There’s no lie that the pandemic has been difficult and unforeseen positives and negatives have erupted from so. The restaurant industry is all about adapting, and that is exactly as we have done.
It is our priority to make sure that our customers and staff feel safe ordering food from us. We have implemented contactless delivery, increased sanitation, and other measures to ensure safety is being prioritized. The benefits of being one of the best dark kitchens in Dubai (and hopefully soon the best dark kitchen in Abu Dhabi) amidst the pandemic include allowing customers to still enjoy their favorite meals while lowering the risk of catching Covid-19.
Let’s dive into some of the pros and cons of operating as a dark kitchen in Dubai during this pandemic. To get started we will be explaining what a dark kitchen is since it may be a new concept for some of our customers.
What is a Dark Kitchen?
Dark kitchens come with so many different names ranging from ghost kitchen, cloud, smart, and virtual kitchens, but they are all the same concept. Sweetheart Kitchen is known as one of the best dark kitchens in Dubai, and soon in the Abu Dhabi area. When Sweetheart Kitchen opened in 2019 there was no prediction of how the worldwide pandemic would affect us. However, luckily, we have still been able to maintain operations.
Our dark Kitchens in Abu Dhabi and Dubai operate as a kitchen that does not offer physical dine-in for customers. Instead, we rely on third-party platforms to deliver our delicious food safely to customers. Since the pandemic dark kitchens have increased in popularity because there is a lower risk of contracting Covid-19.
What are the Pros of Dark Kitchens in Dubai?
The pros of dark kitchens in Abu Dhabi and Dubai strive further than the benefits they are offering the community delicious food during these pressing times. Over the pandemic home food delivery has increased substantially.
Dark kitchens can be located virtually anywhere in cities. They do not have to be centered in a highly populated location that restaurants generally have to be to generate traffic. This means the dark kitchen can be located in an area of the city where rent is much cheaper. This saves so much money on overhead costs as well. This increases delivery to new areas of the city and customers who may not have had transportation of the ability to try the food that we offer at Sweetheart Kitchen.
- Increased Money to Spend on Advertising
Traditional restaurants sometimes do not have the extra cash to spend on advertising. Oftentimes that money is spent on other overhead costs such as decorating, tables, chairs, more square footage to occupy customers. By focussing on money on advertising we are able to be at the top of the customer’s search results.
- Quicker Launches
Dark kitchens are able to launch faster than traditional kitchens. It only takes up to a few weeks to get up and operating. This allows us to have dark kitchens up and running in Abu Dhabi in a matter of weeks compared to several months.
- Accumulate Customers Through Third Party Applications
One of the best pros of dark kitchens in Abu Dhabi is accumulating customers through the third-party apps we deliver through. This opens up an extensive customer base with millions of active users and consumers.
What are the Cons of Dark Kitchens in Dubai?
There will always be cons to any business, however, the pros of a dark kitchen outweigh the cons at Sweetheart Kitchen.
- No Physical Shop Front
Since there is not a physical location for customers to walk directly into this can limit traffic for people just looking for a quick bite to eat while walking down the street. However, since dine-in is generally pretty restricted during the pandemic this is not a significant con at the moment for Sweetheart Kitchen.
- Impulse Buys Reduced
When people are dining in at a restaurant they are more likely to purchase extra add-ons such as drinks, desserts, or food for another family member. The upselling aspect that waiters at traditional restaurants are trained to do to increase the bill.
With delivery online food purchases consumers are less likely to be upselling into making more purchases. However, there are specials or promotions that dark kitchens can offer to increase sales to the customers.
- Delivery Time/Travel Time
Some food travels perfectly for delivery, while some food does not. This can pose as a threat to some food items. However, we at Sweetheart Kitchen have done the time and research and investing in travel safe containers to keep the food as warm and delicious as it was prepared by the high-quality chefs.
Increase of Demand for Food Delivery
The key to a successful business is having a demand. According to DoorDash, 72% of customers are using the third party platform because they do not want to leave their home. There has not been research done on these statistics since the pandemic began, but the likelihood of this number has increased substantially.
Food delivery has been a major convenience for people all over the nation. Dark kitchens are continuing to grow and will continue to grow over time as Sweetheart Kitchens continues to expand locations and brands. With over 30 brands at the moment and hundreds of different food items, there is always room for more.
In conclusion, we are working tirelessly to ensure that our customers in the Middle East are receiving delicious food from the safety of their homes. With any restaurant or business, there will always be pros and cons, but we are here to ensure our customers have a fantastic experience with every order.
- Impulse Buys Reduced