Ghost Kitchen Design & Floor Planning

Ghost kitchens are gaining in popularity as it allows for customers to enjoy access to more foods and flavors. Restaurants, hotels, and other locations are choosing to establish ghost kitchens as a way to generate revenue and offer food options to customers.

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What is a Ghost Kitchen?

Ghost kitchens are designed for prep and cooking only. There is no dining space for customers. Instead, the meals are prepared and delivered within a specific radius of the kitchen.

Ghost kitchens have grown as a result of more consumers demanding restaurant-quality meals delivered to them, either at their homes or within a hotel. The benefit of such a kitchen is that it can get a brand some notoriety without dealing with the high rent of an urban location.

Ghost kitchens can be created virtually anywhere. Some are being created inside of portable kitchen containers while others are using the spare area of another restaurant’s back of house.

Ghost kitchens only have control of their food cost. Labor is nominal and with no need for a dining room, space is limited. As such, the requirements have to allow for quick and easy food prep with little to no waste.

The main components of ghost kitchen floor planning are the same as a traditional restaurant:

  • Space for receiving deliveries
  • Storage of food, both pantry and perishable
  • Space for food prep
  • Space for cooking
  • Space for boxing food up for deliveries
  • Space for cleaning

In some instances, when the ghost kitchen shares with a fully operational kitchen, there are shared areas. Food may be stored inside of the walk-in coolers of the restaurant with everything being labeled accordingly. The dish/cleaning areas are also shared, reducing the overall overhead as well as space required.

ghost kitchen food delivery bag

Designing a Ghost Kitchen

Designing the ghost kitchen needs to start by examining the amount of space that can be dedicated to the area. A variety of layouts can be conducive to a ghost kitchen, including:

  • Assembly line
  • Galley
  • Ergonomic

The number of staff members who will be working in the ghost kitchen and the space allocated will often dictate the ghost kitchen layout. An assembly line can operate well with only two people. When space is limited, an ergonomic ghost kitchen design works well. When there are three or more people and there is enough space, a galley layout may be better.

Depending on the presence of other components in the existing space and regulations, a few additions may have to be made, including the addition of a prep counter or a handwashing sink.

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