Five key elements to creating a successful dark kitchen in Dubai

With dark kitchen openings on the rise in Dubai, there are a few important things to consider before getting started. Here, Gabrielle F. Mather, CEO and Founder of UAE-based restaurant consulting firm Restaurant Secrets Inc. shares five tips for running a successful black kitchen.

In a city where delivery-only dining models thrive, Dubai has seen a surge in dark kitchen concepts launched over the past 12 months. As consumer demand increases – especially in suburban areas of Dubai where delivery radius often does not reach – interest in opening dark new kitchens increases, especially given the appeal of an overall investment cost lower than that of opening a full-fledged restaurant. restaurant.

For those considering opening a dark kitchen, whether it’s starting your first virtual restaurant in the cloud or expanding your current operations into new territory, here are five key things to consider and incorporate into your operations:

1) consider your location and its delivery radius
Location is the key to any dark kitchen. It is imperative that the areas surrounding a dark kitchen are densely populated with residential housing. A delivery radius should be limited to around 10-15 km, so you should make sure there are enough people living in that area to regularly order from you. Barsha South, Hessa Street, Al Quoz, Deira, and Karama are all great places for dark cuisine.

2) Offer a small targeted menu
Dark kitchens thrive on the products of thirst. Menus should be concise and focused, whether it’s pizza, fried chicken, burgers, pasta, ramen or donuts – pick one thing and do it really, really well. When a consumer can associate the best bowl of ramen with your particular brand, you’ll see personalized feedback time and time again. Dishes on your dark kitchen menu should be created with delivery and travel in mind; some foods just don’t travel well – no one likes soggy crisps – so pay attention to your packaging and travel time before placing an item on the menu.

3) Be original and fun with your branding and packaging
People love brands and concepts that create playfulness and fun. When you are competing with so many brands on a delivery platform, it is important to stand out from the crowd. Focus on high quality imagery and intriguing branding to entice your customers – not only does it draw them in, but it also encourages social sharing when a delivery shows up to someone in fun packaging and ignites the crowd. conversation. Packaging is a big part of a brand identity of the delivery model, and while high quality packaging is essential for successful delivery, be sure to design and develop your packaging materials in accordance with taking into account trends and profitability, because you will be using a lot of it and the cost will add up quickly.

4) Create a solid sales strategy that includes regular promotions
Not only do people love to do business, but delivery platforms have special promotional sections that help you get noticed. Whether it’s a one-time twice-a-month purchase offer, a free upgrade, or a free dessert with every main course, promotions like this help you get noticed, attract new guests and attracting old customers. Having a strong sales strategy is key to success, and using digital platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok to voice your activations helps spread the word.

5) Build strong relationships with major suppliers and aggregators
Delivery platforms dominate dark kitchen business models. The bottom line after you’ve done all your strategic calculations is that these platforms offer good value for money when you compare the benefits. An aggregator is a partner in the marketing of your brand, the construction of your notoriety, the management of your delivery logistics as well as a role of mediator on customer service and returns. Building great relationships and activating all marketing channels with your aggregators can be the difference between success and failure.


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