Commercial Kitchen FAQs
Below we’ve answered some of the most common questions we receive. If you don’t find an answer to your question, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
About Dark Kitchens
What is a virtual restaurant, aka dark kitchen, smart kitchen, ghost kitchen, or delivery kitchen?
A smart kitchen, also known as a ghost kitchen or delivery kitchen, is a commercial kitchen facility that prepares food exclusively for delivery or takeout. They usually do not have dine-in facilities or storefronts and often operate multiple brands or menus from one centralized location.
How do dark kitchens differ from traditional restaurants?
Dark Kitchens differ from traditional restaurants in that they do not have a physical dining space or storefront for customers. They primarily focus on food preparation and delivery, and rely on technology and third-party delivery platforms to reach their customers.
What are the benefits of starting or expanding in a ghost kitchen?
Some benefits of starting a smart kitchen include lower overhead costs, reduced labor needs, faster launch time, the ability to experiment with multiple brands or menus, and potential expansion into new markets with minimal risk.
What are the challenges of operating a dark kitchen?
Some challenges of operating in a dark kitchen include a competitive marketplace, dependency on third-party delivery platforms, maintaining consistent food quality, and ensuring efficient delivery logistics.
How can I choose a suitable location for my virtual restaurant?
With Foodstars, you can be confident that our locations are established in high demand for delivery services, accessibility for delivery drivers, and availability of necessary utilities. We use data to consider factors such as local demographics, competition, and delivery radius when selecting a site.
How do I set up and get started in a CloudKitchens® delivery-only kitchen?
To get started in a CloudKitchens® delivery-only kitchen, first discuss your business plan outlining your concept, target market, and financial projections with our team. Discuss about your cuisine type and secure a suitable location with us, acquire necessary permits, and our Onboarding team will help you with the appropriate kitchen equipment list. Establish relationships with food suppliers, hire staff, and use our technology to implement delivery logistics.
Is my commercial kitchen private or shared?
What size are the kitchens?
Foodstars commercial kitchen units start from approximately 200 square ft. Some sites may have larger units available. We also have the ability to combine individual units if larger spaces are required.
What if my business requires more kitchen space?
We can always provide your business with further space if required. Please contact a member of the FoodStars team to chat about your specific needs.
Storage & Access
Can you provide my business with extra storage?
In many sites we offer additional chilled, ambient and frozen storage space to suit your needs.
Can vehicles access the unit easily for deliveries and collections?
All of our locations are set up for easy access for deliveries and collections with street-level access and goods lifts in most of our multi-floor units.
What are the hours of access to the building?
Our sites are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We typically staff our sites from 8am until midnight/2am on weekends.
Will I be able to install a phone line in my kitchen?
Yes, please speak to a member of the FoodStars team to get assistance with setting one up.
Health & Safety
Are the kitchen units registered or certified with the local authority?
Your business is required, by law, to register with the local authority (who will conduct an inspection specifically of your business), from which you will receive a food hygiene rating.
Foodstars design each kitchen to a standard which meets the criteria set out by the local authority for commercial operation.
Can my kitchen achieve SALSA accreditation?
If you require SALSA accreditation please inform us and we will support you to ensure that you meet all the SALSA requirements.
Who is responsible for maintaining cleanliness and good hygiene practice in the common areas?
The Foodstars team clean all common areas, toilet facilities and external areas on a regular basis. In our newer facilities we also provide a daily floor cleaning service for all private kitchens.
Do I need insurance to licence a kitchen?
Each individual business is required by FoodStars to take out their own insurance policy (minimum £3m public liability). Members are also responsible for their own employer’s liability insurance and contents and business interruption insurance.
Can vehicles access the unit safely for deliveries and collections?
Yes, all of our locations are situated on street level and are fitted with industrial sized roller shutters for large deliveries.
Member Agreements & Pricing Plans
How does a FoodStars Licence Agreement work?
Our Licence Agreements operate on a rolling basis with a typical 12 month minimum commitment.
How does FoodStars take payment?
Foodstars take payment via direct debit on a monthly basis.
How are utilities charged to FoodStars members?
Each kitchen unit has its own electricity and gas meter which records your business’ individual energy consumption. Water and waste collection are charged on a per-kitchen basis.
Is there a waste management system in place?
Yes, trade refuse is managed by Foodstars and costs for this are calculated on a per kitchen basis. We segregate waste into four streams and seek to recycle across general waste, mixed recycling, oil and food waste (no waste to landfill policy).
Viewings, Reservations & Referrals
I’m interested in licensing a FoodStars kitchen, can I arrange a viewing of the space?
I’m ready to take the leap, how do I reserve a kitchen at FoodStars?
Great news, we require a reservation deposit. Please contact a member of the FoodStars team who will guide you through the process.
I’m a FoodStars member and I’m very happy with my commercial kitchen, I wish to refer a friend on for their own private kitchen. Do you have a referral scheme?
Yes, we have some great rewards for members that refer new members to Foodstars. Speak to our sales team or your hub manager to find out more.
Get started in a CloudKitchens® delivery-only kitchen
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