Launching a business in the restaurant space carries a lot of risks. The nationwide restaurant failure rate is challenging to track, but the National Restaurant Association estimates a 30% failure rate in the restaurant industry. With high failure-to-thrive rates, rent, and other overhead costs, plus difficulty filling dining rooms, it’s easy to see why entering the industry is so daunting. However, many restaurateurs have found a way around these challenges: ghost kitchens.
A ghost kitchen is a professional food preparation and cooking facility set up to prepare delivery or takeout meals without the dining room. This solution has made entering the market more manageable, allowing for flexible working space, eliminating the costs of setting up and running a larger front-of-house operation. For these reasons, many restaurateurs and other entrepreneurs are looking into how to start a ghost kitchen, including what kind of point of sale (POS) technology they will need to get started.
Planning a Ghost Kitchen
Ghost kitchens lower the barrier of entry to the restaurant industry. However, there is still a significant amount of planning that goes into opening a ghost kitchen. For instance, you will still need to find a kitchen space to buy or rent from. The good news is, without a dining room, you can select from a workspace that may have lower foot traffic, which means cheaper rent.
It may still take you a while to design a menu, however, and you will have to decide between in-house delivery services or outsourcing with partnerships from UberEats, DoorDash, or other sources. And, of course, you will still have to invest in the usual kitchen essentials: food, utensils, and technology.
POS Technology To Invest In
As a ghost kitchen owner, your operations will be very different from traditional restaurant operations and will require a more comprehensive digital solution. To keep up with these unique demands, you will need specific technology designed for your kitchen.
First, you will need an ordering and payment solution that will allow customers to order and pay for their meals online or via a mobile app. Next, you’ll need a kitchen display system (KDS) to get those online orders directly in front of your kitchen staff, keeping your line moving fast and efficiently.
Also, you can keep your kitchen moving by sending orders to a mobile printer using linerless labels and sticking them directly onto the to-go packages. This minimizes confusion, shortens delivery and pick-up time, keeping the orders moving (be sure to use tamper-proof labels to assure food order safety as well). In addition, as a digitally advanced kitchen, you’ll need a POS system that integrates all of these solutions, making it easy and seamless to manage your operations on a day-to-day basis.
If you use multiple delivery services and want to keep your POS system flexible by using a mobile tablet, it’s also a smart idea to invest in a tablet stand. It may quickly become one of your kitchen’s most essential tools, providing a home base for your point of sale and making it easier for staff to match up orders with corresponding delivery service providers. A proper stand should also help to protect your tablet, including any receipt or order printer you may have alongside it.
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Your One-Stop-Shop For Ghost Kitchen POS Technology
Star Micronics provides flexible, futureproof POS technology designed to connect front and back-of-house operations with ease, keeping ghost kitchens operating at their peak. Star provides everything from portable printers, regular and sticky thermal receipt paper, durable tablet stands, and much more. Through one of our certified partners, you can get all of the hardware your ghost kitchen needs.
If you’re ready to find the best step up for your ghost kitchen and get ahead of your competition, contact Star today. Discover what our industry-leading technology can do for you and your restaurant business goals.