Test-and-learn model delivers sharp insights for independent operators
Kraft Heinz Foodservice launched its ghost kitchen concept, Kitchen 57, in July 2020, with the goal of learning, in real time, how the food delivery/virtual space was evolving. Because of the pandemic, it had jumped from niche operation to vital revenue stream for many restaurant operators. “We wanted to better support our customers as the landscape continues to shift,” says Thomas Heitz, Corporate Chef with Kraft Heinz Canada. “By developing and operating Kitchen 57 on a daily basis, we truly understand the pain points of our customers. We are literally living and breathing that pain every day. We’re in it together with them. We have no interest in starting up a Kraft Heinz restaurant company—we are still a food manufacturer—but what better way to understand our customers than testing our products in the same challenging environment that they are using them in?” With two virtual kitchens in Toronto serving creative takes on familiar comfort food, that remains the goal today with Kitchen 57.
By being in market with a ghost kitchen, Kraft Heinz Foodservice is becoming more nimble and more innovative. “We receive immediate guest feedback, and we have a much more fluid way of sourcing new ideas, building faster innovation pipelines, testing new products and sharing best practices with our loyal customers,” says Chef Heitz.
Consumers today have absorbed the culture of third-party delivery services, adapting them as regular aspects of family and work life. Vying for those to-go dollars means big business. Expanding your business into the virtual realm can translate into adding a healthy revenue stream. Based on being in the trenches for more than a year, Marilia De Souza, Business Manager with Kitchen 57, shares strategies on how to pull off a successful ghost kitchen:
It helps with both search in the digital space and in streamlining an efficient, optimized kitchen
That way you can go after different target audiences and run different promotions
For virtual concepts to succeed, flavour and consistency have to hit the mark every time. Rely on Kraft Heinz Foodservice for both.