How to Open a Ghost Kitchen

Learn how to open a ghost kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment!

How to Open a Ghost Kitchen

With the increasing demand for takeout and delivery, many operators and investors wonder if they should open a ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens (also referred to as dark kitchens, virtual kitchens, or shadow kitchens) are facilities set up to prepare takeout or delivery-only items. Many Ghost Kitchens have thrived over the past 18 months with help from Kingswood Leasing* as they procured, prepared, cooked, and delivered thousands of meals all over the US.

A study conducted by Upserve found delivery apps such as DoorDash and GrubHub have grown 300% faster than traditional dine-in restaurants in the last five years.

The ghost kitchen concept is nothing new. An NBC New York article coined the phrase in 2015 when they investigated restaurant owners listing their establishments under multiple different brands on delivery platforms. Those restaurants ended up being removed from GrubHub and Seamless’ platforms. Both delivery companies created new policies to check restaurant information and give customers more transparency into where they were ordering from.

Since then, ghost kitchens have morphed to become lucrative businesses. Some of the benefits of ghost kitchens include:

  1. Ability to capitalize on increased delivery and takeout demand
  2. Reduced overhead
  3. Less food waste
  4. Opportunities to open in locations that are not ideal for traditional restaurants due to lack of parking and dining space

Earlier this year, Kitchen United secured its second lease agreement in Chicago. The commercial space located in Chicago will be home to 10 kitchens arranged to resemble a food court. A centralized food ordering and pickup location will exist in the space. Not only is this model great for professionals that need to grab a quick bite, but it’s also a convenient option for families and other groups. This business model takes the argument out of “what’s for dinner,” allowing Chinese food, pizza, pasta, and burgers to be placed in one order that someone can pick up in one fell swoop.

Learn how to open a ghost kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment!

If you want to open a ghost kitchen, it is important first to figure out your business model.

The Kitchen United model that allows a large space to be managed by one company while individual brands manage their kitchen operations has gained popularity. If this option appeals to you, check out this resource from The Kitchen Door. They’ve compiled a listing of commercial kitchens available to rent.

Other operators are choosing to open space only big enough to run their own kitchen. A variation of this model allows a single restauranteur to run multiple kitchens out of a centralized location. This is an excellent option for operators who want to offer new concepts without investing in opening a traditional dine-in restaurant.

Another interesting take on the ghost kitchen allows operators in a traditional dine-in restaurant to operate a takeout-only establishment from their existing space. In this option, the ghost kitchen menu would not be available for dine-in customers. This is another way an established restauranteur can test a new concept without a large amount of overhead.

It is not only new concepts that choose to open a ghost kitchen. Many established chains, such as Panera and Chick-Fil-A, are opting to open takeaway-only locations. This allows them to open in new markets with reduced overhead.

While it may be a great option for some, the decision to open a ghost kitchen does not come without drawbacks.

A few important things to consider with this business model are:

  • Reduced relationship-building touchpoints with your customers
  • Less control of the presentation, temperatures, consistency, and delivery of your food items
  • High third-party delivery fees (fees can be between 20-40%)
  • Delivery errors that are out of the operator’s control (that can often taint the customer’s view of the restaurant)
  • Increased competition as reduced overhead costs make opening a ghost kitchen more financially accessible
  • Increased need to rank highly online when customers search for takeout options could mean increased ad spending, particularly pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
  • Limited access to customer information, as third-party apps will own the customer information and order history, making marketing to past customers impossible in some

Learn how to open a ghost kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment!

There is no denying that this business model can offer big rewards to operators. Here are a few tips to running a thriving ghost kitchen:

Meticulously plan your menu. Many dishes don’t travel well. Choosing to offer items you know will arrive in an optimal state is critical. Aim for quality menu items vs. a large quantity. Focusing on knockout dishes you know will travel well will help you avoid unhappy customers.

Stay organized. From keeping on top of your inventory to ensuring your staff always have the items they need, where they need them, keeping your kitchen well organized will save you money and aggravation.

Automate as much as possible. Often, operators open a ghost kitchen to keep overhead costs to a minimum. The flip side of this is the spaces are often small and can feel crowded. Automation and streamlining your processes can help keep your costs down while maximizing your space.

Become a marketing mastermind. Eliminating touchpoints with your customers means less opportunity to dazzle them. Get creative with ways to show your appreciation and convert them into loyal, raving fans. Ensure you’re utilizing social media consistently, invest in advertising, and create a cohesive branding experience through your packaging. Of course, an impeccable customer experience during each touchpoint you do have is vital.

Regardless of the type of ghost kitchen you open, you will need equipment, signage, AV equipment, and more! Keep your working capital available for daily operational costs by working with Kingswood Leasing* to explore equipment lease financing options. It only takes a few minutes to apply, and you will be able to get the items you need for monthly payments you can afford.

Contact us to learn how we can help you open a ghost kitchen today!

*Kingswood Leasing Powered By TimePayment

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Choose a Fryer for Your Commercial Kitchen

Learn how to choose a fryer for your commercial kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing!

A fryer is a staple in many commercial kitchens, but not all commercial fryers are created equal! With the help of Kingswood Leasing, you can get a fryer by paying comfortable monthly payments with no payment due at signing. Preserving your working capital is essential. In this post, you’ll learn how to choose a fryer that will best suit your operational needs.

How to Choose a Fryer for Your Commercial Kitchen

Tank Type

First, determine what size fryer will best keep up with the demand of your hungry patrons.

Fryer tank capacities are primarily measured by how many pounds of oil they hold. This means a 50-pound fryer can hold 50 pounds of oil. Most commercial fryers have an output of two times the weight of oil each hour. So, a 50-pound fryer can reasonably be expected to produce up to 100 pounds of food per hour.

While single-tank models work well for frying one type of food at a time, twin-tanks allow you to cook multiple kinds of food at once. One added benefit of twin tanks is that you can choose to run only one tank at a time. This benefit can help the unit be used in a more energy-efficient way.

Filtration

A fryer model with built-in filtering capabilities can be an excellent choice for those looking to reduce operating costs. These models filter the oil used in the fryer to extend its life and improve cost-effectiveness.

Without a filtration system, operators can expect most oils to last no more than three days. While manually filtering the oil can extend oil life by a few days, units with built-in filtration can keep oil fresh for up to nine days. Not only does this reduce your oil expenses, but it also saves your staff time and ensures your food items are always fried in great-tasting oil.

Learn how to choose a fryer for your commercial kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing!

Temperature Control

Your options here are either a computer process controller or a manual dial thermostat controller. The manual control is just that; it allows the operator to control the unit’s temperature manually. While this is often a lower-cost option, the operator must have advanced knowledge on how to fry different food items to ensure everything is cooked correctly. A computer process controller automates the process and allows the fryer to adjust temperatures, resulting in perfectly cooked items every time.

Recovery Time

Recovery time refers to how long it takes for the oil to return to the optimal temperature after food is added. This is important because it can affect the taste of the food and the efficiency of the fryer. Learn more about recovery time here (https://www.pitco.com/blog/why-fryer-recovery-times-are-important).

Sediment Zone

The location of the sediment zone is essential when it comes to the ease of fryer maintenance.

As small pieces of food fall off during the frying process, they collect and eventually become carbon residue. This process is called carbonization, and it can ruin the taste of your food. Carbonization also ruins your oil quality.

Sediment zones prevent carbonization by holding food particles at a slightly lower temperature, so they do not burn.

You will need to clean the sediment zones regularly and ensuring you can access the area easily is key.

Learn how to choose a fryer for your commercial kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing!

Gas Vs. Electric

Electric fryers are typically used in kitchens that fry foods infrequently or at a low volume. Gas options offer quick cycle times and can fry a high volume per hour.

Learn more about the difference between gas and electric options in this in-depth article from the Foodservice Equipment Journal. (https://www.foodserviceequipmentjournal.com/the-big-fryer-debate-should-you-buy-gas-or-electric/)

Placement

Finally, you’ll need to choose between a model that sits on the floor and a model that is set on top of an existing surface. For establishments frying high volumes of food items, a floor-standing model will be best. However, if only niche items are fried in small batches or your fryer is used infrequently, a smaller tabletop model will likely suffice. Freeing up floor space can be especially helpful in small kitchens, such as cafes or concession stands.

Equipment lease financing ensures you get the equipment you need now while still having the cash you need on hand for increased labor costs, unforeseen expenses, and day-to-day operational costs.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your equipment lease financing needs!

For more information on how to choose a fryer that will best suit your needs, check out these resources:
A Quick Primer on the Different Types of Commercial Fryers
Vulcan Fryers: Good, Better, Best
Preventative Maintenance for Your Commercial Deep Fryer

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund Is Here

The online applications opens Monday, May 3rd, and will remain open until all funds are depleted.

The SBA will begin registrations on Friday at 9 a.m. eastern and will open online applications for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund Monday afternoon.

There are three ways to apply to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The first option is to apply through a recognized “SBA Restaurant Partner.”  The other two options are to submit applications electronically at https://restaurants.sba.gov/ or apply via phone at 844.279.8898.

To prepare, the SBA recommends that eligible restaurants familiarize themselves with the application process to ensure a smoother experience. Here are some steps the SBA recommends:

  • Registering for an account in advance at restaurants.sba.gov starting Friday, at 9 a.m. EST.

  • Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.

  • Preparing the required documentation.

  • Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting restaurants.sba.gov to submit an application when the application portal opens.

Take the time now to visit the SBA’s official page to get information about the documentation you’ll need to provide and a sample application.

Kingswood - Your Commercial Capital Source

Kingswood helps all types of businesses grow with finance solutions. If you sell equipment, buy equipment, or need working capital to grow your business, then we invite you to experience the Kingswood advantage and gain access to the trusted source for your commercial capital needs. Learn more about how Kingswood can help your business at www.kingswoodleasing.com.

Kingswood Now Available on AutoQuotes Platform

Kingswood is on AutoQuotes

Did you know that anyone using the AutoQuotes platform can easily and quickly include lease-to-own monthly payment options from Kingswood next to the total cost on every equipment quote?

Businesses acquiring the equipment they need continue to choose leasing over cash and other credit options and AutoQuotes is the preferred quoting solution in the foodservice equipment and supplies (FES) industry. Show your customers why the perfect match of Autoquotes and Kingswood is the easiest way to affordably get the equipment they want without large outlays of capital upfront.

AutoQuotes has been leading the FES industry with their catalog, pricing and quoting software solution for over 30 years and Kingswood has been providing the best in FES equipment financing for over 30 years. Together their 60 years of combined experience can’t be beat.

“AutoQuotes shares our mission to make equipment financing fast and easy, and we’re excited for our seller community who has been asking to see us as an option on AutoQuotes” said Cliff Metcalfe III, Director of Food & Beverage Group at Kingswood.

Want to see how quick and easy it is to add this feature to your next AutoQuotes equipment project? Check out How To Add Kingswood To Your AQ Quotes

 

How To Add Kingswood To AutoQuotes Quote

How To Include Monthly Lease-To-Own Options On Your AutoQuotes Projects

You can access the Payment & Financing option through the Print function in AutoQuotes. 

1. Choose Print, either next to a project on the main screen or within a project itself. This will open the Report Viewer. 

 

AutoQuotes Project Print     

2. Scroll the right sidebar to the Totals section where the Payment & Financing option is located. Click the arrow on the right of the Payment & Financing box and select Kingswood from the options that appear in the dropdown. 

AutoQuotes Report Viewer with Totals Section highlighted

     

3. The Kingswood badge will then appear at the bottom of the quote next to the total cost showing monthly payment scenarios specific to that project. 

By default, the badge will be shown next time you generate a quote. 

That is how quick and easy it is to include lease financing options on every project.  

Tell us about your experience using Kingswood Leasing on your AutoQuotes at feedback@kingswoodleasing.com

Easing the Transition to Work-From-Home

The Upward Trend

Work-from-home trends have been increasing for years.

  • 44% growth in the previous five years
  • 91% growth in the previous ten years
  • 159% growth in the previous 12 years

And in a post-COVID-19 world, these numbers may see their most substantial spike ever.

The Reason for the Rise: Technology

Internet bandwidth and speed, faster mobile data transmission rates, as-a-service conference and communication platforms that allow for low barriers and the increasing adoption of easy to use videoconferencing technologies are just some of the architectural reasons behind the trend. But technological evolution alone doesn’t explain the pace of growth.

The Reason for the Rise: Employee Behavior

Employee behavior around these technologies influences the trend as much as the technologies themselves. A recent survey of employee behavior at an international Fortune 100 company compared meeting behavior over the last five years. Interestingly, when employees are all in the same office building, on the same floor, they are eight times more likely to attend by ‘dialing in’ from their desk as opposed to assembling in a conference room than they were five years ago.

Employees that might be sitting only feet away from each other are still connecting using meeting technologies. Since they are using the technologies as a primary medium of connecting anyway, it becomes far easier to leverage those technologies in a work-from-home culture without losing productivity.

The Reason for the Rise: Travel Trends

With a focus on cost efficiency and productivity, travel just isn’t what it used to be. In-person client meetings that were once a necessity are moving to Teams, Zoom, and other platforms at an increasing rate. Gone are the days of wasting two days with travel for the product demo when a quick screen share and Q&A gets the job done in an hour. Even events are exploring virtual venues with webinar growth reaching nearly 2300% growth in participation rates since 2007.

The Reason for the Rise: Employee Satisfaction and Recruiting

Employee satisfaction scores increase when they have flexible work arrangements, and they average more hours worked per day when they work from home. Less time in transit and ease of access to quickly check in on business activities before and after hours can lead to enhanced productivity and happier employees for some roles.

Finally, there is the recruiting consideration. To be an employer of choice for the years ahead, flexible work arrangements will be essential to specific job functions.

Getting up to Speed

Now is the time to examine your company’s technology infrastructure and the tools your employees need to work effectively in remote environments. Tablets, laptops with reliable cameras, fast routers, and larger/extra monitors are just some of the near-term technology needs companies may need to invest in to enable a more decentralized working environment. And if you are anything like most business leaders, you haven’t planned or budgeted for this shift in office dynamics.

A strategic approach to technology financing can not only help you gear up to meet the rapidly growing demand, but also preserve cash, protect limited budgets and assist in keeping you on the cutting edge of rapidly changing technologies.

Kingswood is committed to helping small businesses and ready to provide easy access to the equipment and technology you need. We’re all in this together. Let us know how we can help.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans

COVID-19 Relief Programs

Helping Our Customers, Now More Than Ever

Kingswood is here to help your business survive this unprecedented time. Our team has identified 4 types of programs that most affected businesses will qualify for. Your company should evaluate all four areas below:

Paycheck Protection Program

  • 100% Forgiveness available
  • Get 2.5x your monthly payroll (10 wks), up to $10MM
  • Use it for payroll and other bills like rent and utilities
  • Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees are eligible
  • No personal guarantee or collateral needed

Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance

  • Apply through the Small Business Administration website
  • Business owners economically impacted by the pandemic can apply for and receive working capital loans of up to $2 million
  • Terms up to 30 years
  • Term loans or lines of credit
  • Uses: To overcome the temporary loss of revenue
  • Applicants can request a $10,000 advance after with application

State & Local Relief Programs

States, localities, and communities of people have stepped up alongside our federal government to offer relief where they know the need is great. Grants and special term loans from $1,000 up to $200,000 are available to keep business owners going – until they can start growing again.

  • Find the information you need about your state’s programs.
  • Connect directly with your state and local funding programs.
  • We are continually working to update this page with the best information available so please check back often for changes.

Additional Aid Programs

The federal government has additional relief programs that can help business owners get through the economic impact of the global pandemic. Learn what is available and make sure your recovery plan has every benefit you can qualify for:

IRS Tax Extension for special payment relief: The Treasury Department and IRS are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak.

SBA Express Bridge Loans: Businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender are able to access up to $25,000 quickly.

SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by paying principal, interest, and fees on some business debt.

We're In This Together

We’re all in this together, and Kingswood is here to help you succeed as a business. We are here to help you work through today’s challenges and access the funding you need to help you get through and move forward.

If you are a current Kingswood customer, speak with a team member to learn more about assistance programs you may qualify for.

Call 888-327-8121 or email info@kingswoodleasing.com

We extend our fullest well wishes for the health and safety of you, your employees, and your family.

Information for Kingswood Equipment Sellers and Referrers Regarding COVID-19

Information for Kingswood Equipment Sellers and Referrers Regarding COVID-19

Is Kingswood open?

Kingswood’s offices are open (8am-8pm EST). All services are functioning as usual, however we are transitioning to a “work–at–home” operating model as part of our broader business continuity plans. Because the situation is dynamic, we will be adapting our plans each day while also planning for longer term implications.

What happens if Kingswood’s offices close?

We have the ability to work remotely from locations across the country, such that our day–to–day operations won’t be affected.

Where can we find the latest information?

Kingswood will update our website, KingswoodLeasing.com, your Partner Portals and will be sending out informational emails if there are changes you need to know. You should always be able to reach your account manager and you can email us at Sales@KingswoodLeasing.com or Info@KingswoodLeasing.com.

How is Kingswood settling with Sellers and Referrers?

We are settling transactions the way we always do; however, in the event our office closes there may be a delay in receiving physical checks from us due to closures or postal service delays. To avoid any interruption, we strongly recommend that you sign up for ACH disbursement. The form can be filled out and submitted online by clicking the link below:

ACH Direct Deposit Enrollment Form: Click Here

Will COVID-19 change who gets approved?

No, but all leasing and lending companies consistently reassess certain underwriting policies and practices to fully consider the current business and economic environment. It’s likely that some changes will be made for some industries. If we see changes, these will be promptly communicated.

Remember everyone at Kingswood is here to help you and your customers succeed. Let us know how we can help!

Women in Business Conference 2019

Women in Business Conference 2019

Kingswood has a tradition of getting involved with our community, and specifically with the University of New Hampshire in Durham NH, whose campus is minutes away from our headquarters.  Recently, we had the honor of sponsoring The UNH Women in Business Conference at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. Attendees included a vast array of students, alumni, and leaders in the business industry. The W.I.B Conference offered networking opportunities and business lectures that covered subjects such as Branding and Financial advice.

Participants were able to meet the lecturers after each presentation in order to gain insight, ask questions, and exchange ideas comfortably with business leaders and students alike. As a result, the Kingswood employees who attended the event came back with inspired ideas for marketing, business, and their personal lives as well.

We look forward to being a part of future community events.