Need to know ghost kitchen essentials: equipping your dark kitchen for success

Need to know ghost kitchen essentials: equipping your dark kitchen for success

You realize that for your organisation 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 “dark kitchens.” These remote kitchens—also known as “virtual” or” ghost” 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 labelling system

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

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

If a dark kitchen makes food for two different brands—Restaurant A and Pub B—dark 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 Pub B.

Besides helping staff cut back on labeling mistakes, the DateCodeGenie drastically saves time in the labelling process. And since dark kitchens run on reduced staff, they can benefit from using a labelling 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 International 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 dark kitchens.

Dark 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, the State of California now requires tamper-evident labels for all third-party delivery orders (which most restaurants and ghost kitchens rely on). And as they say in the States, ‘What happens in California, does not stay in California.’ As the prevalence of online food delivery increases, more stringent safety standards will likely follow. This includes the use of tamper-evident labels. 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
& customer loyalty

The pandemic has everyone—especially restaurants and customers—thinking more about food safety. SecureIt tamper-evident labels can help dark 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 63mm (2.5″) English tamper-evident label, 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, click the link below.

Explore the complete SecureIt inventory
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Customise 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 50mm × 150mm and 50mm × 100mm SecureIt labels that work with the DateCodeGenie.

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 25mm English SecureIt labels. To explore your options and learn more, click the button below.

Explore SecureIt Bags
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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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