July 19, 2024
Smart Technologies, ICT Industry, US Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens, US Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens Market

US Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens Market Estimated To Witness High Growth Owing To Growing Demand For Delivery And Focus On Reducing Restaurant Costs

The US Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 2.56 billion in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 21.7% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.

Market Overview:

Dark kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens or cloud kitchens, are professional kitchen spaces that prepare food specifically for delivery and take-out, without the walk-in customer-facing operations of a traditional restaurant. They allow restaurant brands to enter new markets and expand delivery channels without the high upfront costs associated with opening a traditional brick-and-mortar location.

Market Dynamics:

One of the major drivers fueling growth of the US dark kitchens/ghost kitchens market is the growing popularity and demand for delivery services. Changing lifestyles and busy schedules have boosted the demand for quick, convenient, and hassle-free food delivery options. According to research, over 70% of restaurant visits in the US now involve delivery or take-out. The other key driver is restaurants’ focus on reducing costs by operating virtual kitchens without dining rooms or waitstaff. This allows operators to cut rental costs significantly and focus purely on order fulfilment. However, they still face challenges around securing sufficient funding, high operating costs, and managing a variety of cloud kitchen locations and brands under one roof.

Segment Analysis

The US dark kitchens/ghost kitchens/cloud kitchens market can be broadly divided into captive and independent kitchen segments. The independent kitchen segment dominated the market in 2022, accounting for nearly 60% share. This is because independent kitchens allow restaurants to expand their reach without investing in expensive physical restaurants, and also help new food brands to enter the market without shouldering high real estate costs.

PEST Analysis

Political: The market is positively impacted by regulations supporting the shared commercial kitchen concept and delivery-only operations.
Economic: The market growth is supported by high unemployment levels during the pandemic driving many into gig jobs like delivery partners.
Social: Changing millennial lifestyle and preference for quality affordable home delivery food drives the social acceptance of cloud kitchen model.
Technological: Advancements in online food delivery platforms, supply chain and fleet management technologies enable centralized kitchens to be established and delivery operations scaled up effectively.

Key Takeaways

The global US Dark Kitchens/Ghost Kitchens/Cloud Kitchens Market Share  is expected to witness high growth, exhibiting CAGR of 21.7% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030, due to increasing digitalization and popularity of online food delivery systems. Regionally, Western US states like California and Texas are expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. This is because these states have higher number of virtual restaurants per capita compared to other parts of the country.

The independent kitchen segment is growing at a faster rate compared to captive kitchens. Increasing number of smaller food brands and solopreneurs are choosing to enter the market through independent kitchens due to lower entry barriers. Key players operating in the US dark kitchens/ghost kitchens/cloud kitchens market include Kitchen United, Zuul Kitchens, Kitopi, REEF Technology, Uber Eats, GrubHub, CloudKitchens, Karma Kitchen, Virtual Kitchen Co., and DoorDash. Of these, REEF Technology and Kitchen United have emerged as leading players with presence across multiple US cities.

Cloud kitchens provide a more efficient solution for restaurants compared to traditional brick-and-mortar outlets as they involve lower overhead costs and enable targeting of wider target areas through centralized delivery infrastructure. Additionally, demand for convenience, variety and pricing has increased multi-fold during COVID-19, benefiting the dark kitchen concept. With continued digital acceleration post-pandemic as well, the US dark kitchens market is poised for dynamic growth over the next decade.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it