The ghost kitchen model adapts to physical spaces

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The digital ordering boom of the last couple of years has changed the way managers view their physical dining spaces.

Now, some are taking a shadow kitchen-based approach to consumer-facing locations. For example, Simon Real Estate Investment Trust announced on Thursday (February 3) Press release ‘Grab Go Eat’, a multi-brand location in a mall, off-site, created in partnership with ghost kitchen company Kitchen United.

The initiative allows mall visitors and employees to order food to be delivered to their table or to any store in the mall or to order for pickup onsite or from designated food lockers. Additionally, customers can combine foods from different restaurant brands in one order.

“Giving consumers the ability to dine when and where they want, as well as ordering from multiple restaurants with one ticket is something that will completely improve the customer experience at these locations and set a precedent this year,” Simon said. Co-president of Shopping Centers Eric Sadi in the release.

Offsite restaurants are adapting to changing consumer ordering habits. Search for the PYMNTS’ How We Eat Playbook, created in collaboration with Carat of Fiserv, found that consumers are now 31% more likely to buy meals for delivery or takeout than to dine in. Additionally, 43% of all consumers are ordering restaurant meals or groceries for home delivery more often than before March 2020.

Read more: Restaurants and grocers see the way to attract 200 million new customers

“Our partnership with Simon means the demand for offsite continues to accelerate, and we look forward to introducing our Grab Go Eat platform, which will offer shoppers and mall staff the ability to easily order from a variety of dining options,” said the CEO of Kitchen United Michael Montagano in the release.

Digital technologies are a valuable way to reach restaurants’ most frequent customers, according to PYMNTS data from this month’s edition of the Digital Divide report, “Digital Divide: Technology As A Catalyst For Restaurant Purchases,” created in collaboration with Paytronix.

See more : QSRs seek tech-savvy dinner spend with new digital tools

The study, which was conducted in December and is based on census-balanced surveys of more than 2,400 U.S. consumers, found that tech enthusiasts are more than twice as likely as tech scammers ( those who use only one technology or none) to order at restaurants three times a week or more. Additionally, the report found that tech enthusiasts are more likely than their less-connected counterparts to order out once or twice a week.

Technology-centric off-site options are essential, especially today, as the ongoing fluctuations in the virus situation make seizures part of the new normal.

“Digital engagement mechanisms to stay close to guests are paramount,” Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix, told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in a January interview. “So a solid loyalty CRM program, online ordering, those are the two pillars of a good strategy. And we see it every time there’s a downturn.

Read more: Restaurants rely on loyal customers to navigate Omicron, inflation impact

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