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Hamilton Beach Commercial Blog


The Pros and Cons Of Ghost Kitchen Operations

In a year’s time, ghost kitchens went from novelty to industry mainstay. Experts now believe they’re a permanent part of the foodservice industry.

Ghost or virtual kitchens, in which a commercial kitchen produces food exclusively for delivery, can take a few different forms. Some ghost kitchens operate in shared or commissary kitchens. Others exist in the back of an existing restaurant, which could offer Italian specialties for the dine-in crowd and sub sandwiches for delivery.    

Market research firm Euromonitor predicts ghost kitchens will grow into a $1 trillion industry by 2030, as delivery grabs market share from takeout, drive-thru and other segments. But does it make sense to adopt this model when everyone else is jumping on board? We’ll take a close look at the pros and cons.



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Topics: ghost food halls, ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens

8 Tips for Optimizing Space in a Restaurant Kitchen

“I have way too much space!” — said no professional chef, ever.

There’s a reason for that: In a commercial kitchen, every bit of space needs to earn its keep. So whether you’re starting with 75 square feet or 750, you don’t want an inch to be wasted. You can’t afford for equipment to sit idle, but you also need to make sure you have the right tools for every job.

What’s the solution? We have some strategies to making the most of your equipment and space to maximize efficiency in any kitchen, no matter the size.

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Topics: commercial kitchen design, commercial kitchen equipment

Life in the Fast Lane: 2021 Drive-Thru Trends

The must-have restaurant accessory? A drive-thru lane.

Convenience, speed, safety perceptions and barriers to in-person dining all have drawn consumers to the drive-thru window. KFC , Del Taco and Dunkin’ are just a few of the quick-service brands that are planning drive-thru-only restaurant models, without in-person dining. And other restaurants are just now entering this space: “We’re seeing brands that would never in a million years embrace the drive-thru, embracing the drive-thru,” Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams, told The Counter.


What should restaurant operators know about the evolution of drive-thru dining? Here are a few key takeaways.

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Topics: drive-thru trends, quickservice trends

Three Wellness Food Trends in 2021

When the pandemic storm has passed, will we all be more health-conscious eaters?

Restaurant industry trendwatchers think so. Consumers are becoming more mindful, says the Mintel 2021 Global Food and Drink Trends report, and seeking foods that nourish their physical and emotional health. 

Immunity, to no one’s surprise, is a hot topic. At the end of 2020, Tastewise reported a:

  • 23% increase, month over month, in consumer interest in immune-boosting food and beverages
  • 7% increase in interest in vitamin and prebiotic-rich foods and drinks
  • 5 % increase in interest in gut health (with a significant 40 percent boost in the last year)

Here’s a look at three ways this intensifying interest in health may be reflected in food menus in the year to come.

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Topics: Healthy eating, 2021 food trends

Power Up: The BigRig™ Family of Commercial Immersion Blenders

Do you love — we mean really love — your immersion blender?

An immersion blender is the rare piece of kitchen equipment that’s lightweight, versatile and supremely easy to put into action.

If you don’t have a heavy-duty immersion blender in your restaurant kitchen, then it’s time to consider it. Hamilton Beach Commercial recently introduced the BigRig family of commercial immersion blenders, the ultimate utility player for your foodservice business.

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Topics: commercial immersion blender, heavy duty immersion blender, immersion mixer, commercial stick blender

Year-End Recap: Top 5 Posts for 2020 from the HBC Food Blog

Continuing with our recap series, here are the top blog posts from the Food blog for 2020. These posts got the most views, regardless of when they were published. You will only see one of our Foodservice Hero Profiles listed here, but we profiled 10 different people in the foodservice industry who were nominated for recognition by their peers. You can see more of them by visiting the HBC Food blog

Read on...and if you see content you like, be sure to join the HBC Community for regular updates, whether it's Beverage, Food, Hospitality or Recipes.

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Topics: Food

2021 Food Trends: What Will We Eat Next?

Predicting the next big flavor trends has long been foodies’ favorite sport. In 2019 it was celery juice and milk tea; in 2018, it was charcoal ice cream and artisan pickles. But then, well you know, 2020 happened.

This year, restaurant operators may not be inclined to experiment with novel spice blends or exotic vegetables. But they still want to surprise and delight pandemic-weary customers, so it’s worth paying attention to the trends. Here’s a small taste of what we might be tasting in 2021.

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Topics: Featured, 2021 food trends, 2021 restaurant trends

How to Entice Customers to Order Dessert To Go

Did you hear about the Prague café that turned the coronavirus into a confection? Baker Olga Budnik created a treat that looks exactly like the notorious virus: a baked chocolate sphere with a pistachio and raspberry filling and “spikes” crafted from white chocolate and dried raspberries. It’s been a huge hit, she reports.

If there ever was a time when the world needed dessert, it’s now. About 23% of American diners miss ordering dessert at restaurants, a DoorDash survey found. What are the secrets to success with takeout desserts? Here’s what we’re seeing.

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Topics: Featured, commercial stand mixer, dessert to go, takeout dessert

Practical Lessons From Restaurants That Have Increased Sales In 2020

Portable. Affordable. Familiar.

Those may be the three magic words that describe what diners are looking for right now, according to a recent National Public Radio story on restaurants that are doing well in the downturn. Burritos, pizza, wings — comforting food that adapts well to a takeout or delivery model.

But food isn’t the only factor. Technology, marketing, trends and operations all can help restaurants defy the odds and have a profitable year. Here are a few strategies that can be effective.

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Topics: Featured, restaurant industry trends, drive restaurant sales, restaurant strategy

Five Ways to Make the Most of a Ghost Kitchen

Is a restaurant still a restaurant without tables, servers or diners?

It definitely is now. More than half of U.S. operators have turned to ghost kitchens for some or all of their delivery orders, research by Technomic and the National Restaurant Association reveals. Before the pandemic, just 15% used a ghost kitchen — that is, a commercial kitchen that only makes food for delivery and/or takeout.

A ghost kitchen (or dark kitchen, or virtual kitchen) can boost a burgeoning delivery business, increase profit margins, cut staffing costs and help see restaurants through a slump in in-person dining. But the prospect of paying a lot for a brand-new facility may give restaurateurs pause.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to start from scratch! Here are five ways to use the ghost-kitchen model that require minimal investment up front.

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Topics: Featured, ghost kitchen, dark kitchen

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