UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash, Deliveroo and other apps changed our eating habits. People constantly order food and in times of pandemics, the number of the regular online orders keeps growing.
Last year, food delivery revenue in the US was $26,5 billion, and the number of people who ordered meals using the apps was about 111 million. And the revenue is expected to grow in the upcoming years:
Euromonitor predicts that a ghost kitchen business model can become a $1 trillion global market by 2030. At the moment, there are 1,500 ghost kitchens in the US, 7,500 in China, 3,500 in India, and only 750 in the UK.
This statistic proves that a business model called cloud kitchen (when there is no physical space for dining but there is a delivery) prospers. But even the most successful businesses have their challenges. And in the case of a cloud kitchen restaurant, the main challenge is to arrange an effective order management process and improve the service quality.
Although there is no magic wand able to do the trick and eliminate all productivity issues, there is a software that can transform any cloud kitchen. This application is a POS software for cloud kitchen, and in this post, we will tell you everything about it.
We will describe how you can develop custom and feature-rich POS, why it is so necessary to have it, and what value it can bring to your restaurant business.
Top 5 solutions for effective dark kitchens management
To begin with, we’d like to speak of those businesses that use cloud kitchens. They are mainly delivery-optimized restaurants that use online food delivery platforms, caterers, meal prep companies that do not need permanent kitchen space, packaged food producers, and companies interested in food product testing. As you can see, the list is pretty solid.
These days, most cloud kitchens use holistic systems such as POS. There is also a kitchen display system replacing paper tickets, routing managers, and electronic terminals. However, those solutions are not enough.
And while POS remains a central kitchen software of all quick service restaurants, there are other solutions that are essential for proper cloud kitchen management. We will provide you with some crucial highlights on every dark kitchen management solution.
Online ordering app
Any restaurant that offers delivery services knows how important it is to have a user-friendly mobile app designed specifically for ordering meals. Your ordering app should include not only all menu items with pictures and descriptions but also offer some promotions, loyalty program, advertisements, and customer feedback options.
In such a way, you can become closer to your existing customers and explore their demand and preferences. Don’t forget to integrate a convenient payment gateway so that the customers can pay for their online orders right in the app.
Inventory management app
Basically, it can be an inventory system able to automatically track your stock level, organize all ghost kitchen inventory data and generate holistic reports. Thanks to such systems, cloud kitchen managers can track food stock levels and get notified when the stock is running low. A reliable and feature-rich inventory management system can save your operating costs and keep stock turnover at a high level. No more food waste and product shortages when dealing with the huge influx of online orders!
To make the work of your smart kitchen employees easier and more organized, it is preferable to get production planning software. It can help you make personal meal preparation plans, schedule tasks properly, create purchase lists based on your stock level, create fully calculated bills-of-materials, turn them into purchase orders, and finally email or text your purchase orders to your suppliers directly.
Procurement is an important part of every ghost kitchen. By having an app for procurement management, you can get data-driven suggestions, automate purchase orders, improve order management, establish fruitful cooperation with suppliers, keep purchasing history in one safe place, and even standardize order lists.
It is hard to imagine a customer-oriented business without a CRM system in place, used for collecting customers information and insights, organizing all internal data and documentation. CRM is a powerful tool that you should not neglect as an owner of a ghost kitchen business.
POS software: #1 solution for your business
Many solutions can help you boost your business productivity. But the most important software that every ghost kitchen requires is a point-of-sale (POS) system. The thing is that most ghost kitchens host several restaurants under one menu, which can be challenging in terms of combining everything under one ticket.
Typically a ghost kitchen accepts numerous online orders from different online food aggregators, and at the same time, it can have its own website or mobile app for online ordering of food. So you can only imagine the influx of order and mix-ups that can happen during the work.
Thanks to the POS system, your ghost kitchen employees can manage all direct and third-party delivery orders easily. On top of that, manual order-making and human mistakes can be forgotten once and for all. POS systems for cloud kitchens automate dozens of cloud kitchen operations, process and store important data, and even improve the customer satisfaction rate.
When it comes to POS development for restaurants, many business owners get stuck because they do not know which solution to choose:
- Mobile POS – always at your hand;
- Cloud-based POS system – highly scalable;
- Open-source POS systems with customized interface;
- Omnichannel POS for operating business on several platforms in online and offline mode.
The most effective solution of all would be a cloud-based POS since it is safe and can be accessed from any device. Also, it is constantly updated, all the data is synced and uploaded to cloud storage so nothing will ever get lost. By investing in cloud-based POS, you can be sure that this solution will serve you for many years to come and that it will grow together with your business.
How ghost kitchen POS streamlines operations
It is hard to underestimate the power of the POS system for cloud kitchen restaurants. This is a universal solution capable of many things, one of which is the improvement of your business profitability. Let’s take a closer look at the operations that cloud kitchen POS streamlines.
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Must-have features of cloud kitchen POS
By now, you may be interested in POS software for your cloud kitchen. However, you may still feel a little bit lost and do not know exactly what feature set to consider for your solution to make it extremely helpful for your business. Our team has worked on POS systems for cloud kitchens and is ready to share with you our list of must-have features that can spice up your POS.
Build a POS for ghost kitchen with us
When it comes to POS development, our team can be rightfully called a real expert. For more than 10 years in business, we have been helping dozens of companies perform a digital transformation. And many of those companies came to us and requested POS development because we offer:
- Custom and mobile POS development;
- Development of SaaS POS system;
- Modernization of your current POS system;
- Integration of your custom POS with your other solutions.
We can help you with many tech-related aspects. While building every POS system for cloud kitchens, we pay special attention to pre-development research, technical documentation, functional and non-functional requirements.
Security and industry standards are our top priority. You can be sure that your POS will be GDPR-compliant and meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
Since many employees can use POS solutions, we also take care of POS data protection, proper two-factor authentication, and a strict password policy is a must.
To build a custom POS for ghost kitchen, you will need several technical specialists:
- Business analyst who will complete the Discovery phase, define possible development risks, and write all technical documentation.
- UI/UX designer who can create a visually pleasing and highly intuitive design concept to highlight the identity of your brand online.
- Front and backend developers who will write high quality code, perform integration of third-party services and APIs, and make sure that your POS for cloud kitchen has every feature you requested.
- QA engineers will be responsible for manual and automated testing to detect even the smallest imperfection and fix it immediately.
- Scrum master who is in charge of project management.
Apart from these specialists, our team offers software architects, DevOps and even marketing specialists. We also provide training sessions so your employees can learn how to use a POS system effectively.
What we can help you with
Right now we work on a brand new cloud kitchen POS system that will be an easy-to-use solution built using React.js and Node.js. That POS system will be compatible with brands, menus, locations and also fully integrated with the online ordering platform. We have written detailed specifications that will allow us to implement all necessary features step-by-step and deliver a holistic POS system fast.
So in case you already have a POS idea in your mind, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to shape it and initiate the development. With our team, it will be a seamless process. We can easily implement the following features in your cloud kitchen POS:
- Barcode and QR code scanning;
- Secure and convenient payment gateway;
- Analytics powered by AI;
- Custom online ordering platform;
- Holistic reporting;
- Stock and inventory level monitoring;
- Employee management and performance review;
- Mobile optimization;
- Trendy and user-friendly design.
The cost of point of sale software development
Now let’s speak about the budget you need to develop a custom POS system for your ghost kitchen. Everything depends on the overall complexity of the POS system, the composition of your development team, and type of cooperation model.
In general, you should be prepared to pay a monthly check of $50,000. Usually, the MVP POS development takes 4-6 months, however even this term can be prolonged if your project is huge and complex.
You will probably need a business analyst, software architect, designer, several back-end developers, front-end developers, and a QA engineer to perform manual and automated testing, Scrum Master, and also DevOps specialist. This is a standard team composition if you choose to cooperate with our dedicated team.
We also offer different cooperation models. For example, you can hire only several specific technicians to expand your in-house team and complete POS development. This cooperation model is called team extension, and it turned out to be very effective for many of our clients.
Since we have a solid experience in team augmentation, we can integrate our technicians into your team seamlessly and speed up the development process.
– A one location that can limit your client base;
– Dependence on third-party deliveries;
– Low brand recognition;
– Only online brand visibility.
Cloud kitchen management is not easy, however, there is a way to make it a pleasant routine. You need to get all necessary solutions for your ghost kitchen and start actively using them. Among these solutions, there should definitely be a POS system full of useful features.
We’ve covered all the necessary information about dark kitchen POS development, so now it is the right time for you to consider all aspects and make a final decision.
POS can not only become your biggest business helper but also grant you a certain competitive advantage. These days people often use online ordering from delivery-only restaurants, and the competition between them gets really tough. Therefore, ghost kitchens should strive for better productivity and minimize even the slightest chance of mistakes. And that is exactly when the POS system can come in handy.
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