Market Insight- Dark Kitchen Trend

Market Insight- Dark Kitchen Trend

This month, Chester Association of Property Professionals (CAPP) member, Howard Cole from BA Commercial, discusses a trend within the industrial property sector.

The demand for industrial properties across Chester and the wider region has accelerated in recent years, especially post pandemic with a wider variety of occupational uses taking space.

A recent market trend within the industrial sector is the emergence of dark kitchens, which are a new contemporary culinary trend that’s taking the food sub-sector by storm. These innovative establishments are rewriting the rules of dining and food delivery. BA Commercial recently undertook a letting of a dark kitchen facility in Wrexham to a national operator- could Chester be next in line to capitalise on this trend?

Dark kitchens, also referred to as ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens, have become a focal point of the evolving food landscape. These kitchens are designed to exclusively produce food for delivery, bypassing the traditional dine-in experience. As people’s lives become busier and digital technology continues to reshape consumer behaviour, dark kitchens have emerged as a market trend within the industrial sector, catering to the demand for quick, high-quality meals that can be enjoyed in the comfort of one’s own home.

In a typical dark kitchen setup, you’ll find cooking stations equipped with stoves, ovens, and other kitchen appliances necessary for preparing a variety of dishes. These kitchens often host multiple virtual restaurant concepts, each specializing in different cuisines or menu items. Chefs and kitchen staff work to create meals, which are then carefully packaged for delivery to customers’ doorsteps.

The layout of a dark kitchen is optimized for efficiency, with designated areas for food preparation, cooking, assembly, and packaging. Technology plays a significant role, with online order management systems, digital screens displaying incoming orders, and communication tools connecting the kitchen staff with delivery drivers.

The prospect of a dark kitchen in Chester would also have an influence on the local economy. They create job opportunities in the food preparation, packaging, and delivery sub-sectors. While they might not require the extensive front-of-house staff associated with traditional restaurants, they contribute to the employment landscape within the city.

The industrial sector continues to perform well despite uncertain economic conditions and if you have a requirement for space, please contact myself or my colleagues at BA Commercial, we would be pleased to hear from you.

Howard Cole