Mexican 'ghost kitchens' advance without using Uber Eats or Rappi


By CAPosts 19 January, 2021 - 06:00am 35 views

Ghost kitchens or Dark Kitchens, as they are known throughout the world, have moved more than one market, and in the case of Mexico City, the popularity of this type of kitchen lies in being an employment option for the thousands of chefs, waiters and messengers who have lost their jobs because of healthy distance measures. The new format has also become to discover flavors, both by those gastronomy journalists, as well as by all those who want to try something new without leaving home. "The dark kitchen format was made because the pandemic did not allow opening stores, the main idea was to open a store, but it was very complicated and we investigated the dark kitchen and decided to do it," Rodrigo Torices, founding partner, told Expansión of Chubbies, a ghost kitchen that has managed to add more than 13,000 followers on Instagram and that has become one of the references of hidden cuisine in the city.

© E + Hidden or ghost kitchens are life savers and vertical foodie in increase. Better without apps The future of food before the closure by COVID-19

“Due to the pandemic we chose to do it in this format. We started in my garage and selling on Instagram, now we have a store but we operate under a similar concept, "said Alejandro Hernández, chef and founder of Ahumados Pelican, a ghost kitchen that, thanks to its success, momentarily opened a store where, through a reservation, service is provided on site, but which had to close due to the pandemic restrictions. The common case that these types of kitchens have had is that they have not sought to be part of the delivery apps that are on the market, such as Ubereats, Rappi or Didi Food, since many of them do not match the way of working they have and Because by having the possibility of creating their own logistics, they not only have control of deliveries, but also of customer service. “We started in 2014, my partner was a chef and we joined forces entirely at home, where our contacts were direct, where there were no delivery applications, nor Uber Flash, and even cycling did not have the boom it has now. When my partner lost his job, we decided to start joining forces with friends who also rode bikes and who could make food deliveries, ”shared Mireya Ortíz, co-founder of Pedalea Libre, a hidden kitchen specializing in vegan menus. Having more time in the market for ghost kitchens, Ortíz says that he did not see the case of looking for delivery apps, because the concept of Pedalea Libre does not match the way they treat their messengers and because they have sought more to create a community Of customers. “In my way, the way the app does business is very advantageous, because there is no support for its workforce as such, and we want the relationship with bi-messengers to be very horizontal, we know the quality of delivery that they do and we care about them, ”says Ortíz. While the founder of Pedalea Libre does not share the philosophy that apps have with their delivery partners, Torices shares that initially they looked for these options to make deliveries, but they were told that they were very new and now, after the success of the kitchen, they They have searched with lower commissions. “Yes, apps are constantly looking for us, at first when we decide to open we look for options and their costs are very high, some even beat us saying that we were very new and that they were saturated, now they are looking for us and they have even dropped to half of their commission, ”says the Chubbies co-founder. Although there are ghost kitchens that have relied on apps, such as It Burguers, the rental costs of locals in Mexico City, app commissions and current uncertainty are leading to the ever-increasing emergence of this type of kitchens. A Euromonitor report indicates that in China there are already more than 7,500 dark kitchens, in India more than 3,500, in the United States 1,500 and in the United Kingdom 750, so the expansion of this type of kitchen is increasingly popular. “We know that we have to make an effort to enchant the customer, because a disadvantage is that we can only have the presentation of how your products will get to your house, we do not have a physical place where you can go. What is true is that if I had had a place, it was very possible that I would not have endured with the rent of the space, and as is happening with many restaurants, perhaps I would have already closed, ”Ortíz pointed out. Although Torices admits that creating customer service and delivery logistics has been difficult to do, the constant learning they have had in these months of operation has led them to use tools such as WhatsApp or Instagram to generate personalized attention and that directly helps. in its popularity. "The logistics to reach more people is with our content on social networks and word of mouth advertising, we have continued to buy kitchen equipment to expand demand and meet customer needs, we have not sacrificed quality at all and We will continue to offer a good product to continue to be the choice of people ”, said the founder of Chubbies. Although measures within restaurants have been relaxed in Mexico City, in January the doors of 13,500 restaurants in the metropolis were closed and an estimated 50,000 jobs have been lost, leaving many chefs, cooks and waiters without a job. source of income, you could find a solution in this kitchen model.

Source: MSN