Sign up for restaurant insights

Food delivery is predicted to account for 40% of total restaurant sales by 2020, and has become what one restaurant analyst refers to as a “driving force in the restaurant industry.”

One way restaurants are responding to this rapidly growing demand for food delivery is with a relatively new type of food service: virtual restaurants.

Learn what virtual restaurants are, how they work, and why they may help you experiment with a new brand of cuisine while growing your delivery sales.

Demystifying The Virtual Restaurant

Also known as virtual kitchens or delivery-only restaurants, the virtual restaurant concept is actually quite simple.

They are delivery-only operations that accept orders solely online—through apps and websites like Grubhub. With no need for a brick and mortar location, the “restaurant” only exists online.

Restaurateurs can launch a virtual restaurant to experiment with a new menu concept, brand a subset of existing menu items, or capture unmet customer demands for particular food in the market. In this way, restaurants can open up a whole new “restaurant” without any additional expenditures on staff or rent.

Since all orders are placed digitally and delivered, customers don’t know (or care) that the restaurant is “virtual.” They may even be excited to try new concepts if they are put out by their favorite local restaurant. Their only concern is that the food tastes great, is easy to order, and is delivered to their door.

Paving The Way To Your Own Virtual Restaurant

The process of creating and launching a virtual restaurant is fairly simple, and can be creatively enriching and exciting as well!

  1. Choose Your Cuisine. Your menu can expand your existing offerings or be based on a subset of items from your current menu. You can even test out an entirely different concept—one that may even be completely different than your physical restaurant. With data provided by Grubhub, you can even pinpoint what type of food customers are searching for, but not finding, in your delivery boundary, and create a menu that fills that gap.
  2. Create Your Brand. You can create your own brand assets like a new name, logo, photos and descriptions, or utilize Grubhub’s assistance to populate your virtual restaurant online and appeal to your virtual restaurant’s ideal customer.
  3. Launch Your Virtual Restaurant. Your virtual restaurant instantly becomes visible to thousands of hungry delivery customers. And, they can easily order from any device through an app or online platform.  

Making A Virtual Restaurant Work For You

There are many exciting advantages to opening a virtual restaurant in addition to your physical restaurant.

  • Obtain High Rewards For Low Investment. Virtual restaurants are efficient and save money because they grow your business without increasing overhead costs.
  • Grow Delivery Sales. You can open up new channels of revenue using the same amount of staff, space and resources by operating one, or multiple, virtual restaurants out of one physical kitchen.
  • Reach New Customers. By branching out with a new concept, you can reach an entirely different customer base.
  • Innovate and Lead. With little risk, you are free to experiment and test out what works to create successful concepts and satisfy needs in your particular market. Also, being able to change your menu on the fly without updating printed menus or signage allows you to be flexible and creative.
  • Increase Digital Presence. By living online, your brand will get valuable exposure through the Grubhub website and mobile app.

Whether you want to increase delivery sales or experiment with a new restaurant concept, a virtual restaurant can help you reach your goals with low risk and high rewards.

Learn more about opening a virtual restaurant.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

graphic banner illustrating the power of a Grubhub partnership