Restaurant Trends 2020: What Are Dark Kitchens?

This article discusses restaurant trends 2020 and in particular the trend of dark kitchens. It is no secret that the food delivery is big business. In Ireland, the food industry is expected to estimate at 14.8 billion euro this coming year. For that reason, food delivery services have seen massive growth in the last few years. This has come to head with the expansion of e-commerce and mobile delivery. In addition, with the selection of food currently available for delivery, it is essential to be diverse. In response to this, both restaurant and takeaway owners have been trying to keep up. Their solution is dark kitchens.

What are Dark Kitchens?

Restaurant Trends 2020

If you have tuned into any restaurant trends, you may have heard of dark kitchens. These new kinds of food service locations are increasing in popularity. This has come about with more restaurateurs deciding to depart from traditional restaurants.

How Dark Kitchens Operate

Restaurant Trends 2020

Dark Kitchens are virtual restaurants providing take-out services only. Who owns them? A brand or third party working with multiple brands. They do not have a physical restaurant premises but work entirely online. As a result, they do not have a storefront, so customers cannot come to pick up their own food. The chefs prepare the food in an unidentified kitchen location. The drivers collect it from this location to deliver it. Virtual restaurants function similarly to traditional restaurants, the chefs prepare the customers food once they order it.

When Did Dark Kitchens Start? 

Restaurant owners are forced to close their business’ each year due to high expenses. Under those circumstances, this is where dark kitchens come in. By operating a dark kitchen, they can avoid high rates and rental prices. The trend of dark kitchens has been present in many countries in the world. It is finally making its way to Ireland. 

Advantages of Dark Kitchens

The cost of opening and operating a dark kitchen is much cheaper than owning and managing an entire restaurant. The physical location is not a huge concern as your brand is completely online. Your physical premises does not have to look nice as it is not a representation of your brand. It is an unidentified kitchen location. Dark kitchens are the perfect opportunity to experiment with new concepts. You are free to scrap ideas that are not working. 

In return, you can put your money towards more staff or better ingredients. In other words, these kitchens can be equipped and updated to meet demand quickly regarding the cuisine of the restaurant. Therefore, you do not have to close the business for any renovations. In addition, the only concerns you have are your online store, drivers, ingredients and staff. In addition, being app or web-based means that you can change your menu whenever you like. Therefore, with this, you do not have to worry about updating signage or print materials.

Where Do Dark Kitchens Work Best?

This kind of food service model is particularly great for high-rent areas. Therefore, with a virtual restaurant, restaurateurs can draw traffic in pretty much any neighborhood. Although, their delivery service must be able to accommodate this.


This article discussed restaurant trends 2020 and in particular the trend of dark kitchens. As a result, this was a guide to dark kitchens, sharing what they are and the advantages of operating a dark kitchen. So, hopefully this article gave you more insight into the topic. As a result, it is clear that dark kitchens and virtual restaurants are the future of the food industry. To summarise, dark kitchens are much cheaper with less concerns than traditional restaurants. 

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