Technology has made eating so much easier.
Now, you don’t have to prepare by straining your body and going to an ingredient store. You don’t even have to get in your car—or walk, to ruin this idea—to satisfy your instant cravings at a fast food restaurant.
You just pick up your phone (that’s an airbrush, right?) and order the food to be brought to your door.
This became a must during the pandemic. Drive-in delivery and delivery have increased revenue for fast food brands. It made the idea of eating inside a restaurant somewhat strange.
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Meanwhile, the likes of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick decided there was another way. The alleged ghost kitchen. You cook food in a cheap and unused warehouse, far from the city, and speed it towards your ravenous customers with one bike or another.
However, is this something the likes of Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s fear?
Well, it looks like some of the ghost kitchen creators are starting to ponder the same question.
I was moved to want to visit Dallas upon hearing the opinions of Marcos Pinheiro, CEO and Founder – does he really need two titles? — for something called the Oomi Digital Kitchen.
No, I don’t find this brand name very appetizing either. Just the concept of a digital kitchen fills me with sub-freezing sensations.
Still, Pineiro has some great ideas about the future. He launched his Oomi phone a few months ago in Dallas. He claims he noticed what other ghost kitchens did and wasn’t too impressed with it.
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Speaking to QSR Magazine, he explained that making food in a cheap old building a few miles out of town isn’t ideal for items like consistency and, you know, customer satisfaction.
Then there is the satisfying staff and drivers. Who wants to go to work somewhere out of town?
“We believe the optimal location to build and locate a ghost kitchen is smack dab in the middle of where the target demographic is located — and in an area that is familiar and easily located by both the on-demand workforce of delivery drivers and our customers,” he said.
This borders on a strange mixture of humanity and wisdom.
When your ghost kitchen is in some ghostly part of town, delivery drivers don’t necessarily find it easy to locate. Then there is the greater cost of gas and the longer lead time for getting the food to the customer.
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Speaking of the customer, Pinheiro noted: “We also focus on providing customers with the shortest possible delivery times to improve the quality of our products and the entire customer experience, something that was blatantly overlooked by our predecessors in the Ghost Kitchen V1.”
How strange that supposedly enterprising tech guys focus on cost savings rather than customer experience, for example.
Mused Pineyro: “Zero home costs never go to zero, they are only reallocated to other unforeseen expenses; expediters, order packers, and even greeters who direct delivery drivers need to be outsourced to produce a quality product and deliver it for delivery.”
Oomi offers brands such as Urban Taco, Hot Lips Asian Grub, and Momo Shack Himalayan Dumplings. No, I haven’t heard of any of them before.
However, I can imagine that if you actually saw the ghost kitchen while going about your daily life, you could easily accept it as a real entity.
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Besides, just as you see Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and Burger King logos populating your local scene, why not consider the idea that Oomi is right in your neighborhood, a true brand that offers you much more variety and “instant” delivery on the go. par?
Buying from an anonymous presence isn’t quite the same as buying from something you might see on a regular basis.
However, Pinheiro is not entirely alone in his thinking. Kitchen United, for example, has locations in malls and supermarkets.
The biggest fast food brands are building more repeat purchases through their apps. Perhaps Oomi can build more repeat purchases by offering more choices, while actually offering quality.
And then, maybe, Umi could open up a gym next door, so you can actually move your body once in a while.