How to Set Up a Ghost Kitchen: A Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up a ghost kitchen is a little different than starting a regular restaurant, mainly because you are not looking into factors like building out a space or hiring and training a front of house staff. If you are thinking of opening a cloud kitchen, here a quick checklist on what to focus on:

5-Step Checklist for Setting up a Ghost Kitchen:

  • Make a business plan

Like any new concept, you should always map out a business plan to nail down your mission, your goals, finances and market analysis. This will be your playbook for launching your cloud kitchen.

  • Acquire local business licenses

These will vary state to state but you need to be registered as a small business before moving anything forward.

  • Acquire local health certifications

Again, these are different in every state, but no matter where you are there is always a Department of Health restaurants answer to. Find out what your local requirements are and follow them to a T. Cloud Kitchens are subject to inspections just like restaurants. Don’t slack on health and safety standards, and partner with a kitchen that has the same high benchmarks. (Pro tip: Don’t forget to apply for a DOH inspection before your ghost kitchen launches. You’ll need this approval to officially open.)

  • Get liability insurance

Most commercial kitchens require general liability insurance of up to $1 million. Plans can range between $300-$500 so make sure you factor this cost into your cloud kitchen budget

  • Pick your partners

There are two major partners you’ll have as a cloud kitchen. One with be your physical kitchen space. The other will be your delivery partner--the way your food actually gets to customers. Make sure they both fit with your vision from your business plan.

Looking for more information on what ghost kitchens actually are? So glad you asked! Check out our guide for beginners on everything you need to know about cloud kitchens!

[Photo: Timur via Pexels]