Could Virtual Brands Increase Your Restaurant’s Revenue?

Jun 20, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Not so long ago, the term “virtual brand” was met by blank stares and incomprehension. For some, it may have been associated with pioneering fashion houses, social media giants or the latest digital marketing endeavours. Today however, virtual food brands have revolutionised the restaurant industry.


At its heart, a virtual brand simply refers to any business geared towards online ordering and delivery. The trend accelerated during the global pandemic, with the explosion of food delivery and off-premise operations offering benefits to businesses and customers alike.


So, what exactly is a virtual brand and how can it help you scale and grow your restaurant?


Ghost Kitchens vs Virtual Brands


Whilst the terms ghost kitchen brands and virtual kitchen brands are often used interchangeably, they aren’t exactly the same thing.


Think of the difference this way:


  • Ghost kitchens (or dark kitchens) are the physical location where brands run their operations. These kitchens are only used to prepare food for off-premise dining, usually via online food delivery.


  • Virtual food brands refer to the “brand” itself – not the bricks and mortar premises. This means a ghost kitchen could host multiple virtual brands. A traditional restaurant (with a customer-facing dining room) could also host additional virtual food brands.


It’s an important way restaurant operators can improve their profitability, engage new customer segments and evaluate menu items. With this in mind, here are just three ways virtual brands can increase your restaurant’s revenue:


1. Opening new markets


If your kitchen is only busy during dinner service, you’re missing revenue throughout the day as well as during the night. Virtual food brands help improve your ROI on property and equipment, as well as labour costs.


Could you offer a brand specialising in breakfast and brunch items? What about naughty late-night snacks? This will mean your kitchen operates to its full potential, no matter the time of day.


2. Testing menu items


Related to new markets (at various times of day), virtual food brands enable your business to connect with new audience segments. You could run a fun vegan food brand (for instance) – reaching new, younger audiences who might not support a “traditional” bricks and mortar restaurant.


This also allows you to test novel items and ingredients (and train your chefs on any new processes), assessing online delivery demand (and feedback) before moving dishes onto your existing menu.


3. Connecting with consumers


There’s nothing to stop you running multiple virtual food brands from a single kitchen. This means restaurant owners can experiment with niche concepts, catering to highly specific consumer subsegments.


With this in mind, your brand could specialise in grilled sandwiches, paleo diets, artisan cookies or the ultimate mac and cheese. You name it! Whatever style of food you choose, you can experiment with concepts and connect with new consumers, all without adding to your operational costs.


Peckwater Brands offer uniquely flexible virtual food brand concepts, helping kitchen owners grow their revenue and increase their profits. If you want to expand your brand reach, decrease your operational costs and improve customer engagement – get in touch today. You run the kitchen, we do the rest.

Topics from this blog: Virtual Brands Operations

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