You may of heard all of these terms thrown around a be a little confused as to which is which. When you are looking for a kitchen to hire for your food business, you will likely have come across catering kitchens, central production units and dark kitchens and be wondering what sets them apart. Whilst all of these spaces are similar, there are some key differences it’s worth bearing in mind.
Catering kitchens are large functional kitchens, usually found off-site and used by teams that are catering for events or groups. These kitchens will be well equipped to deal with a wide array of cooking and baking depending on the needs of the customer. This type of kitchen might be used by a standalone company that caters for a wide variety of events or customers or could belong to a company that caters for it’s own staff and find it more practical to have an off-site kitchen because of cost or space limitation in their primary venue.
Catering companies will usually cater for events at all times of the day so there is likely to be limited availability in these types of spaces. A catering kitchen in the City of London for example is likely to be busy Monday to Friday but then quiet at weekends.
Central production units on the other hand are used to produce products. Rather than a Catering kitchen which would be used to prepare fresh food, central production kitchens are used to manufacture food products for distribution. These kitchens will likely have more specific equipment depending on the product that is being produced and they may also have specialised wrapping and packaging tools onsite. Central production kitchens usually operate on regimented timetables and so their availability is very predictable.
Dark Kitchens are the latest arrival on the kitchen scene and a term that you have probably been hearing more and more over the last year or two. A dark kitchen, which is also known as a ghost kitchen or virtual kitchen, is a kitchen purpose built to be hired on a flexible basis. Instead of hiring a kitchen only when it is out of use, dark kitchens are intended to be hired and not used for any other purpose.
Dark kitchens are usually located in areas where there is a high demand for food delivery and often used by companies that plan to reach their customers though food delivery apps. It I not just food delivery companied that use dark kitchens though, actually catering companies and food production companies can also benefit from the flexibility and lower over heads of a dark kitchen.
Catering Kitchen, Central Production Units and Dark Kitchen have become popular as they provide a low cost alternative to a restaurant if you don’t require sit-in customers.
There are lots of different types of kitchens on the market and finding the right one to suit your mind will likely come down to equipment, price and location. Occupyd has all of these types of kitchens with more and more being added every day.