Restaurant concepts only available online are still quite uncommon. In the US, Europe, and Australia, Uber Eats and Deliveroo are leading the way and suggest digital concepts to existing restaurateurs in an area where they see that many people are searching for specific foods but don’t get any hits. Those restaurateurs who jump on the bandwagon see an increase in their revenues and analysts predict that home delivery of food will increase significantly in the near future. This is an excellent opportunity for you as a restaurant owner to consider the possibility of expanding your business.
What is a virtual restaurant?
A virtual restaurant is a restaurant offering home-delivered food experiences via digital apps and delivery partners. It is relatively cost efficient to start up a restaurant concept online compared to a traditional restaurant as you don’t need a large venue with seating and lots of staff. What do matters are your kitchen and the infrastructure around your kitchen. You also need to make sure you offer your customers a great experience when it comes to order, payment and food delivery.
No large venue
A virtual restaurant doesn’t require a large venue with seating, but you do need a venue for the kitchen and logistics. A good idea is to consider where your customers will be when they want their food delivered and find a venue in the same area to make your business more efficient. There’s also the option to share a kitchen with others to cut down costs. But then you need to consider how to design the kitchen to suit multiple businesses. In the US, this has become a niche of its own where you can rent space in a kitchen. If you already have a kitchen for your traditional restaurant, an option could be to use parts of the kitchen for your virtual restaurant and make sure you have a good solution for pick-up delivery.
Use data to create a food concept that is in demand
To determine which type of food concept you should launch, it’s a good idea to find out what people in your area want to eat. Is there any demand for a special cuisine or food that is not already available? With the help of search statistics, you can easily find out what people are searching for and tailor your offer accordingly. If you already have a restaurant, you could start by offering some parts of your menu online and ask your customers which type of food they would like to order for home delivery.
As all orders and communications are online, you can benefit from technology and get insights on consumer behaviour, which food is popular, which hours are peak hours etc. You can customise and slim down the menu to streamline the kitchen. You can try new concepts, such as healthy snacks that can easily be added to an order. Or perhaps offering breakfast and increase the sales opportunities in the morning.
The sales of home delivered food are increasing considerably
Ordering food online is undeniably a growing trend. The investment bank UBS predicts that global sales of food deliveries will grow tenfold from 35 billion dollars to 365 billion dollars in the coming 10 years. Millennials are leading the way and prefer home deliveries to eating out. In their report, USB also states that a scenario in 2030 could be that most meals that are currently cooked at home, will be delivered from restaurants or central kitchens. However, this is more likely speculation as reports from Mintel show that millennials cook more food now than before. Whether we will order some or all of our cooked food online, home delivered meals are here to stay.
Contact us at Trivec to find out how we can help you and your business! We look forward to hearing from you.