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“We’re going to continue to see some social distancing, but ghost kitchens are a pretty good solution to customers being able to still enjoy some of their favorite restaurants.”


— Michael Anderson Director of FIT Global Systems Integration Welbilt Inc.


“Sometimes you can even share labor across different concepts,” Anderson notes. “That’s not going to be for everyone, but it really just depends on the operator’s comfort level.”


Te Keys to Success


Despite the clear benefits offered by ghost kitchens, they do have some inheren t challenges that must be overcome. “I think speed and temperature are some of the most critical factors in ghost kitchens,” Anderson says. “You’ve got to be able to get hot, tasty food ready even faster than you do in a sit-down dining atmosphere because you have that travel time for the delivery driver as well. We use the example of cooking a burger on a traditional flattop grill, which can take anywhere from five to six minutes. Then, when you go to a newer technology like clamshell grills, you literally cut your cook time in half.”


Equipment is just one component of a successful ghost kitchen. “In today’s world, connectivity is the key to efficiency, speed, and success,” Johnson says. “Our KitchenConnect and FitKitchen design teams use our cloud-based


40 FEDA News & Views


digital platform to help restaurateurs orchestrate the flow of food, beverages, people, processes, and equipment to satisfy more customers, reduce labor costs, and simply do more with less. We’re doing more than helping our customers get through this challenging period – we’re helping them set up their businesses for a more profitable future.”


A Vehicle for Recovery As foodservice continues to rebound from the damage done by COVID-19, providing the means to successfully operate out of a ghost kitchen is just one way that distributors can support recovery. “It becomes very expensive for restaurants to


staff up while filling only half their dining room, so ghost kitchens help that a little bit,” Anderson says. “Not only with COVID but with SARS and other diseases before it, we’ve seen how these things affect how the public interacts. We’re going to continue to see some social distancing, but ghost kitchens are a pretty good solution to customers being able to still enjoy some of their favorite restaurants.”


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