Online Virtual Restaurants


Ghost Restaurant - A food service business that exists only in food delivery apps, no storefront, no dining facility.

Virtual Restaurant - A alternative menu that is offered by a traditional restaurant through the delivery apps.

The primary distinction between the two models is that ghost restaurants DO NOT have a dining room or dine in service whereas the Virtual Restaurant DOES have a dining room and dine in service.

As an emerging industry they are both know as

Online Virtual Restaurants or OVR's

A Ghost Restaurant (also known as a delivery-only restaurant, online-only restaurant, cloud kitchen or dark kitchen) is a food service business that serves customers exclusively through phone orders or online food ordering. By not having a full-service restaurant premise, ghost restaurants can economize by occupying cheaper real estate.

Although restaurants typically earn more from customers who dine at the restaurant, due to the expense of operating a delivery service or the fees charged by third party delivery companies like Grubhub and Caviar, ghost restaurants have significantly lower overhead.  

A typical ghost restaurant location is able to accommodate the preparation of several different types of cuisines. This strategy is used as having multiple brands can target a broader range of customers.

A Virtual Restaurant is a traditional eatery that offers alternative menus exclusively through delivery services in addition to the menus offered in house. Virtual restaurants are attractive to restaurant operators because they offer additional revenue opportunities for the business. In addition to the greater potential for increasing sales, properly implemented virtual restaurants decrease waste, decrease employment costs and increase diversity for the in house restaurant that continues to operate. Sometimes the virtual concept will outcompete the brick and mortar to such a degree that the operator will choose to convert out of the virtual format by closing the dining room and becoming a full on ghost restaurant.

Which Model Are you?

Ghost Model

  • No dining room

  • Online Delivery Only

  • Many Menus

Virtual Model

  • Additional menu

  • Traditional Restaurant

  • Pick up, Dine In or Delivery

There are difference business models too. These models are designed exclusively for their operations. Group Kitchens are places where many kitchens exist that are rented or leased out to independent businesses for the operations of ghost kitchens. Virtual Restaurants can occur inside of all dining levels as well. There are a few different ways to approach this that have gotten success. One of them is to operate the virtual restaurant from a different cookline.