Need to Know Ghost Kitchen Essentials: Equipping Your Cloud Kitchen for Success

Need to Know Ghost Kitchen Essentials: Equipping Your Cloud Kitchen for Success

You realize that for your restaurant to make it through COVID-19, you need to cut costs, lower overhead, and increase efficiency—especially when it comes to your delivery business.

Faced with the same reality, restaurants worldwide are taking their operations to “ghost kitchens.” These remote kitchens—also known as “virtual” or” dark” or “cloud kitchens”—reduce costs and allow restaurants to scale up their delivery services by moving food production to offsite locations with smaller footprints and lower overhead. Rather than providing food for in-house dining, these kitchens exist solely to fulfill delivery orders placed through online apps and websites. As other restaurants shut down due to dining restrictions, ghost kitchens stay open.

With ghost kitchens still being so new to the scene, we can’t predict whether or not they’ll become the dominant model in the future. However, we can tell you that—no matter what happens—we offer solutions for any restaurant or entrepreneur looking to dabble in this space.

Here are the essentials your ghost kitchen will need:

Start with a Comprehensive, Automated Labeling System

Since ghost kitchens often fulfill orders for multiple brands simultaneously, their staff members need a way to keep prep inventory organized and separate for each brand. The DateCodeGenie® automated labeling system can help.

Using the DateCodeGenie, ghost kitchen staff can design and modify food prep labels that show which business owns each prep item in question.

If a ghost kitchen makes food for two different brands—Restaurant A and Diner B—ghost kitchen staff can use the DateCodeGenie to create prep inventory labels with each brand’s name and logo. These labels reduce the chances of a cook accidentally grabbing cucumbers from Restaurant A when what they meant to do was grab the cucumbers from Diner B.

Besides helping staff cut back on labeling mistakes, the DateCodeGenie drastically saves time in the labeling process. And since ghost kitchens run on reduced staff, they can benefit from using a labeling system that prints legible, uniform, and accurate labels within seconds. Plus, the DateCodeGenie allows staff to save designs in the cloud, which further lessens the time it takes to create food prep labels.  

NCCO offers several DateCodeGenie models, including the DateCodeGenie Lite and the DateCodeGenie Fit. Thanks to their small footprint and easy portability, these models work exceptionally well in ghost kitchens.

Ghost kitchen staff can also use the DateCodeGenie to print order information or custom branding on SecureIt™ tamper-evident labels, which more and more restaurants are using to protect delivery orders.

In fact, California now requires tamper-evident labels for all third-party delivery orders (which most restaurants and ghost kitchens rely on). The DateCodeGenie makes branding, designing, and printing on tamper-evident labels quick and easy.

Learn more about the full DateCodeGenie product line
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Protect Your Customers’ Delivery Orders
& Your Customer Loyalty

The pandemic has everyone—especially restaurants and customers—thinking more about food safety. SecureIt tamper-evident labels can help ghost kitchens reassure customers that their food is safe to eat.

The security marks on SecureIt labels break if tampered with while in transit. So, every time your customer receives an order that’s sealed with an unbroken SecureIt label, they can trust that their food is safe to enjoy. That extra reassurance provided by SecureIt labels allows your customers to fully enjoy their meals. It also builds trust in the food delivery system. By extension, that helps your ghost kitchen too.

NCCO manufactures several tamper-evident labels for drinks, to-go bags, clam-shell boxes, and many other types of containers. Thanks to their strong adhesive that resists moisture, SecureIt labels adhere to paper, plastic, foil, and most other materials used for delivery orders.

Certain SecureIt labels, such as our 2.5″ × 6″ and 1.5″ × 6″ tamper-evident labels, also include a space to write the order and item number. With the high volume of orders that leave ghost kitchens, having each item and order labeled correctly can help staff and delivery drivers avoid costly mistakes, such as delivering the wrong meal. This mistake, of course, can cost both money and customer loyalty.

To explore the complete SecureIt inventory or request custom SecureIt labels, click the appropriate button below.

Explore the complete SecureIt inventory or request custom SecureIt labels
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Customize Tamper-Evident Labels with the DateCodeGenie®

If you need tamper-evident labels to display crucial information such as ingredients, allergens, price, logos, addresses, and more, you have options.

NCCO offers 2″× 6″ and 2″× 4” SecureIt labels that work with the DateCodeGenie or even labels that work with your standard POS thermal printer.

Learn more about tamper-evident DateCodeGenie Labels
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Help Your Customers Fully Enjoy Every Delivery Order

As with our tamper-evident labels, SecureIt Bag Delivery Systems protect delivery orders and reassure customers that they can enjoy their food.

Strong internal handles slide through sidewall slots to lock each bag’s opening while included SecureIt labels provide the final seal over the top. Each bag also includes a pre-printed area for recording order information, which helps staff and delivery drivers bring orders to the correct customers.

Reinforced, wide bottoms allow staff to fit more items in each bag, which reduces the number of bags needed to complete an order. SecureIt bags lay flat for easy storage in ghost kitchens, where space is already limited. 

Each SecureIt Bag Delivery System includes 250 bags and 250 1″ × 3″ SecureIt labels. To explore your options and learn more, click the button below.

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Ensure Your Ghost Kitchen Is Up to Code With Always Food Safe Online Training

While they’re out of sight for customers, ghost kitchens remain well within the view of health and safety regulators.  

As an ANSI accredited e-learning provider, Always Food Safe offers training courses that help ghost kitchen staff adhere to safety guidelines. Always Food Safe provides an interactive and enjoyable learning experience, helping kitchen staff retain knowledge and pass certification tests with greater ease.

Since they take place entirely online, Always Food Safe courses fit easily into the schedules of ghost kitchen staff who might not have the time or space to complete training while on the job.

To connect with the courses and certification your ghost kitchen staff needs to stay compliant and deliver safe food, click the button below.

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No Matter What Your Kitchen Looks Like, We’re Here to Support You

So, will ghost kitchens become the dominant model of the future? Or will they complement traditional in-house dining? Again, we can’t say for sure.

But what we can tell you is this: no matter what the future holds, we’re here to connect you with the solutions you need to adapt to changing circumstances. That commitment will remain constant no matter what today or tomorrow throw your way.

Learn more about the solutions NCCO offers to help ghost kitchens succeed
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