Business & Management

How to Write a Ghost Kitchen Business Plan (With Examples)

Making a ghost kitchen business plan is the first step to starting your own money-making food business. Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual or cloud kitchens are a new kind of food place that only does takeout and delivery orders.

With the rise of food delivery apps and people wanting to eat at home more, ghost kitchens have become a really good way to start a food business that doesn’t cost too much.

Starting a successful ghost kitchen needs more than just loving food. You need a good plan and our guide will help with that. It’ll show you how to make a detailed business plan that can bring in investors, get you the money you need to start, and ensure your business keeps making money.

With upfront planning and continuous monitoring, this plan aims to maximize the probability of building a thriving and sustainable ghost kitchen business.

Illustration of 3 mobile devices showing business planning apps business

Executive Summary

The executive summary is essentially the elevator pitch for your entire business plan. It should provide a high-level overview of the key elements and quickly make the case for why your ghost kitchen concept is viable, profitable, and worth investing in.

When writing an executive summary for a virtual restaurant, you’ll want to focus on:

  • Briefly explaining the ghost kitchen business model and how your concept utilizes it. This provides context upfront for readers who may be unfamiliar with the operational approach.
  • Introducing your brand positioning, menu offerings, and what makes your concept unique or better than competitors. Establish your value proposition.
  • Summarizing customer demand drivers in your target market and how your menu and operations are tailored to meet customer needs.
  • Highlighting key elements of your growth strategy focused on delivery and digital platforms. How will you drive traffic?
  • Providing an overview of unit economics – average sales volumes, costs, and profit margins so investors understand the financial opportunity. Use easy-to-digest numbers and metrics here.
  • Outlining high-level startup and operating costs involved so readers understand the full funding requirements.
  • Explaining expected ROI timeline and projections investors can expect if funding the venture.

The executive summary should excite and intrigue readers enough to read the full plan. Keep it concise at 1-2 pages max while ensuring it covers all the key elements of your ghost kitchen concept, economics, and growth trajectory.

Krave Kitchen is a proposed virtual restaurant launching in Chicago focused on elevated comfort food delivery. By leveraging online ordering and a compact ghost kitchen model, our mission is to make crave-worthy dishes like mac and cheese, wings, and milkshakes available citywide at the tap of a button.

We have partnered with Kitchen United to lease a fully equipped kitchen bay in their Chicago Loop location. This enables launching quickly without any upfront capital expenditure. Our menu will feature gourmet twists on classic comforts like deep-dish mac and cheese pizza, Korean fried chicken wings, and artisanal ice cream sandwiches.

The Chicago comfort food delivery market is estimated at $2.2B annually and growing 30% per year with Millenials and Gen Z driving demand. Our quantitative and qualitative market analysis gives us confidence we can capture a 0.6% market share, reaching monthly sales of $110k at maturity.

We estimate average order values of $28, with food costs of 35% and gross margins of 60% when factoring in delivery app commissions. Krave Kitchen will break even within the first 9 months of operations. We aim to exit at a 3x EBITDA multiple in year 4, delivering an expected 3-year ROI of 45% to equity partners.

To fully build out our kitchen, develop our delivery-optimized menu, and operate for the first 8 months until profitability, we are seeking $450k in seed funding in exchange for 15% ownership. Krave Kitchen presents a unique opportunity to invest in an asset-light virtual restaurant poised to capitalize on surging demand for delivery.

The Company Overview

The Company Overview tells the origin story of your virtual restaurant concept. It should provide background on the founders, summarize the brand identity and positioning, explain the menu and cuisine type, and articulate the problems you aim to solve for customers.

When crafting this section for a ghost kitchen, key elements to cover include:

  • Introducing the founders and their relevant experience. This builds credibility.
  • Explaining the motivations and vision behind launching a delivery-only operation. Share key insights that led to this idea.
  • Describe the type of food and cuisine your kitchen will serve. Share menu highlights and details that convey your unique offerings.
  • Outlining the core customer pain points or needs your concept addresses. How does your menu, ordering process or operations solve these issues?
  • Summarizing how you settled on the ghost kitchen model and why it’s the right fit for executing your vision over traditional restaurants.
  • Detailing any partnerships, technology platforms, or operational advantages you’ll leverage to streamline the ghost kitchen.
  • Explaining key brand identifiers like name, logo, and positioning that convey your identity and ethos.

The Company Overview section should get readers excited about the founders, concept, menu, and opportunity your ghost kitchen presents in the evolving market.

Keto Bites is the brainchild of Mary C and Ken M who met while training at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. With nutrition top of mind for modern diners, Mary and Ken saw an opportunity to make healthy, keto-friendly meals more accessible by launching a delivery-optimized ghost kitchen.

Based in Austin, Keto Bites will offer low-carb breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options tailored for the ketogenic diet. Menu items include keto waffles, cauliflower crust pizzas, charcuterie boards, and more. With customization options, Keto Bites provides flexibility for different requirements.

By leveraging a centralized commissary kitchen model with no dining room overhead, Keto Bites can focus operations entirely on preparing high-quality keto meals for seamless home delivery. This increases profit margins over traditional restaurants while keeping prices reasonable. Keto Bites aims to satisfy dieters struggling to stick to their nutritional plans.

Founded by David L, a 15-year hospitality veteran, Quick Bao is a new San Francisco-based ghost kitchen dedicated to modern Taiwanese street food. The idea was inspired by watching long lines form daily for bao stands in night markets across Asia.

Quick Bao will offer an array of savory and sweet steamed buns with creative fillings like five-spice pork belly, crispy duck, and custard with fresh fruit. Sides include seasoned fries and refreshing milk tea. The menu will also feature rotating seasonal baos.

By preparing baos in bulk from a delivery-optimized ghost kitchen, Quick Bao can ensure speed, affordability, and consistency. Customers can conveniently order anytime via delivery apps. Quick Bao aims to bring authentic Asian flavors to West Coast foodies craving baos on demand.

Team and Management

The Team and Management section should outline the key players involved in launching and operating the ghost kitchen. It builds confidence by demonstrating you have the right expertise, experience, and personnel to execute the concept.

When drafting this section, ghost kitchens should focus on:

  • Introducing all founders and partners, along with brief backgrounds demonstrating their relevant industry experience.
  • Detailing the ownership split and role of each co-founder to show a clear delineation of responsibilities.
  • Explaining any key hires made or planned, especially head chef, general manager, or marketing lead. Share standout qualifications.
  • Describe the advisory board if established, and what strategic guidance they provide.
  • Outlining organizational structure and plans for future hiring as the business scales.
  • Emphasizing experience in online delivery operations, virtual restaurants, and data-driven management.
  • Including founder photos and bios in an appendix to put faces to names.

The goal is to validate that the team has the required blend of culinary skills, technical expertise, marketing savvy, and management acumen to convert the business plan into an operating success. Identify any gaps that need filling.

The co-founders of City Woks both bring decades plus experience in hospitality and business operations.

CEO Chris W previously founded and led a 10-unit cafe chain focused on customer technology integration and analytics-based growth.

Head Chef Mei T graduated top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu and honed her craft at Michelin-star restaurants in Shanghai and San Francisco.

CTO Sanjay P has led development for food delivery services managing over 5 million monthly orders.

With Chris’ operations experience, Mei’s culinary expertise, and Sanjay’s tech-savvy, City Woks is positioned to seamlessly execute our mission of delivering exceptional authentic Chinese food forged through technology.

At PizzaCo, our lean founding team combines deep pizza-making heritage with delivery technology expertise.

Giorgio R learned the art of pizza from his family in Naples before moving to New York to work at renowned pizzerias. He will lead culinary innovation.

Co-founder Alyssa P has a BSE in Operations Research and previously managed logistics for food delivery startups. She oversees our operations.

We have partnered with Velocity Partners for tech development and will be making key hires in marketing and customer service. Our core team has the strategic experience necessary to disrupt pizza delivery in Chicago and scale nationally.

Market Analysis

The Market Analysis section demonstrates a deep understanding of your industry, customers, and competitors. It’s crucial for validating demand and projecting realistic growth.

When developing this section, ghost kitchens should focus on:

  • Providing an overview of virtual restaurant industry trends – growth, consumer shifts, competitive dynamics.
  • Defining your target customer segments in detail – demographics, behaviors, psychographics. Back up claims with data.
  • Analyzing direct and indirect competitors – including their offerings, prices, unit volumes, and strengths/weaknesses.
  • Estimating total addressable market size for your city or region, with statistics on historic growth.
  • Forecasting future market growth over the next 3-5 years as online delivery adoption increases.
  • Detailing what macro and micro market factors could impact demand for your concept – both risks and opportunities.
  • Outlining how your positioning, menu, and operations are tailored to capture the opportunities identified in this analysis.

The goal is to thoroughly analyze the competitive landscape and demonstrate why customers will choose your ghost kitchen over alternatives. Support assertions with cited industry data, projecting conservatively. Identifying potential threats will strengthen your plan.

The meal kit delivery industry has boomed, with an estimated 12 million U.S. households now purchasing meal kits. However, prepared meal delivery represents an even larger $17 billion market. With increasing demand for convenient dinnertime solutions, the prepared meal delivery sector is projected to grow at a 7% CAGR through 2025.

Our target customers are urban professionals aged 25-40 without time to grocery shop and cook but want to eat healthy home-cooked meals. 63% say customized nutrition is important. Competitors in this space include subscription services like Freshly but prepared meal choices are still limited.

By providing chef-designed, personalized paleo meals on-demand, our ghost kitchen uniquely solves consumers’ needs for healthy, customized, delivery-native dinner options in Seattle. We estimate obtaining a 2.3% market share within 2 years of operations by capitalizing on this value proposition.

The bustling New York City dessert delivery market has grown steadily at 4% annually, reaching an estimated $730 million in 2020 sales. Bakeries dominate, holding a 52% share. Our consumer research indicates high demand, especially among corporate clients for more premium, innovative offerings.

Our upscale virtual dessert kitchen will differentiate from competitors with artisanal, photogenic sweets like our signature molten chocolate cakes and berry tartlets. With dessert-specific delivery branding, we can uniquely capitalize on consumer appetite for gourmet, splurge-worthy selections.

Focusing exclusively on desserts also provides economies of scale advantages. We conservatively estimate the ability to capture a 1.2% market share within 18 months by catering specifically to high-end corporate and residential segments.

Concept and Menu Strategy

The Concept and Menu Strategy outlines your brand identity, offerings, and how the menu is optimized for delivery. This section brings your virtual restaurant to life.

Key elements ghost kitchens should cover include:

  • Articulating your brand positioning statement and core values. What key attributes define your identity?
  • Detailing your value proposition – how your offering delivers more value than competitors.
  • Providing an overview of menu categories, signature items, and types of cuisine.
  • Explaining how the menu is specifically designed for delivery. This includes packaging, portion sizes, and easing transit.
  • Describing customization and dietary options to meet customer needs.
  • Outlining your pricing strategy and rationales behind price points for competitiveness and profit goals.
  • Detailing plans for menu rotating, testing, and optimization based on data and customer feedback.
  • Including full menu detail and photos in the appendix for easy visualization.

The goal is to convey to investors how your concept, branding, and menu are distinct and tailored to succeed in a virtual restaurant model based on target customer preferences.

Urban Chef offers fast-casual quality global street food with the convenience of delivery. Our diverse menu features regional specialties like shawarma, banh mi, empanadas, and build-your-own poke bowls. Customers can sample flavors from around the world.

Focusing on street food classics that travel well enables optimized packaging for transit. Our affordable pricing targets students, young professionals, and families without breaking their budgets. We estimate an average $22 order value.

Our value proposition is providing affordable access to global flavors from the comfort of home. Our ghost kitchen model allows price points competitors can’t match for quality.

As a plant-based virtual kitchen, Veg Out’s brand ethos stems from our commitment to sustainable, compassionate, waste-free cooking. Our diverse menu satisfies vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets.

Guests build bowls and burgers combining proteins like chickpeas, lentils, or jackfruit with fresh veggie toppings and house-made sauces. Our desserts are dairy-free indulgences like brownies and cheesecake.

With all compostable packaging and optimized travel solutions, Veg Out delivers quality plant-based fare designed for urban markets. Our ghost kitchen model enables access with value pricing at 20% below dine-in competitors.

Marketing Plan

Since ghost kitchens lack physical storefronts, marketing efforts are crucial for generating awareness and repeat business. The plan should outline marketing strategies for reaching and engaging your target customers online and through delivery apps.

Key elements to cover in this section include:

  • Detailing promotional tactics like social media ads, flyers, and discounts to drive new customer acquisition around the launch.
  • Discussing partnership opportunities with delivery apps, corporate meal programs, catering, etc. to rapidly scale orders.
  • Explaining intended social media and influencer marketing to build brand awareness and following.
  • Describing a memorable grand opening promotion to create a splash when you first launch.
  • Outlining grassroots tactics like sampling, local events, and PR outreach to make an impact in the community.
  • Tracking and measurement methodology to monitor effectiveness and optimize spend.
  • Allocating an owned, earned, paid media budget based on scalable ROIs.

The goal is to demonstrate a digitally-savvy performance marketing plan tailored to drive real transaction volume to a virtual restaurant. Tie activities directly to projected sales growth.

To promote the launch of City Wok’s ghost kitchen, we will leverage a multi-channel digital marketing strategy targeting downtown office workers seeking affordable lunches. Tactics include:

  • Targeted social media ads across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn promoting our $5 lunch special for the first month.
  • PR outreach campaign pitching exclusive menu previews to local lifestyle and food bloggers.
  • Prominent search and display ads on GrubHub, UberEats, and DoorDash to drive delivery app orders. We have allocated 15% of our marketing budget here given the strong ROI potential.
  • Direct mail flyer to all offices within a 2-mile radius including a unique promo code for 10% off first orders.

As a plant-based ghost kitchen, Veg Out’s marketing strategy relies heavily on social media and influencer partnerships to raise brand awareness among our core demographic. Key programs include:

  • Instagram giveaway with local vegan influencers to promote our launch and attract new followers.
  • Monthly TikTok video collaborations with up-and-coming chefs creating plant-based recipes.
  • Ongoing email nurturing campaign with health-conscious content to encourage repeat purchases.
  • Pop-up sampling events at local gyms, yoga studios, and farmers markets to introduce Veg Out meals.

We aim to build an organic community of brand advocates by engaging potential customers through lifestyle-aligned touchpoints. Our focus will be on retention and customer lifetime value after launch.

Here are some examples of social media and influencer marketing campaigns that could work for ghost kitchens:

Social Media Campaigns:

  • Instagram giveaway – Post photos of signature dishes and run a contest for free meal combos to drive followers.
  • TikTok taste test challenge – Film customers taste-testing menu items and use a trending sound/hashtag to go viral.
  • Facebook weekly specials – Promote a limited-time special dish each week to existing followers to encourage reorders.
  • Twitter polls – Post polls asking followers to vote on which new menu item they want added to drive engagement.

Influencer Marketing:

  • Sample drops to micro-influencers – Send free meal kits to micro-influencers in your area to feature on Instagram and TikTok for authentic buzz.
  • Food blogger media kits – Reach out to relevant local food bloggers and offer a media kit with free delivery credit in exchange for reviews.
  • YouTube mukbang partnerships – Sponsor mukbang YouTubers to feature an entire menu review and ASMR eating experience.
  • TikTok chef collaborations – Bring on TikTok chefs as guest collaborators to develop a special viral dish together.

Focusing on organic, engaging social content and mutually beneficial influencer partnerships can build brand affinity with potential customers online for a ghost kitchen.

Operations Plan

The Operations Plan details how you will manage day-to-day business functions from cooking to delivery logistics. It demonstrates you have the processes and infrastructure to smoothly run a virtual restaurant.

Key elements ghost kitchens should address in this section:

  • Describing the commercial kitchen location secured, including layout, capacity, and licenses obtained.
  • Explaining required roles like head chef, prep cooks, packaging team, and expected hiring timeline.
  • Detailing sourcing strategy for procuring quality ingredients at optimal prices.
  • Outlining relationships with food delivery platforms and order management technology.
  • Listing necessary kitchen equipment based on menu offerings and estimated costs.
  • Explaining workflow during peak order periods to fulfill demand while maintaining quality standards.
  • Describing food safety procedures, packaging solutions, and delivery handoff logistics.

The goal is to provide investors confidence you can effectively operate the ghost kitchen on a daily basis to meet sales, efficiency, and profitability goals.

Our ghost kitchen will be located in a leased 1,200 sq ft commissary kitchen facility at 234 Oak St. We secured this centralized site to provide delivery coverage across downtown. The space features 8 cooking stations, industrial refrigeration, and packaging counters optimal for high-volume preparation.

We plan to hire 2 prep and line cooks and 3 delivery drivers/packaging staff at launch. The founding chef will oversee all back-of-house operations. With projected order volume averaging 75-100 meals per day in the first few months, this provides sufficient staffing. We forecast needing to double hiring after 6 months of growth.

We have partnered with FoodHub, a digital platform connecting restaurants to suppliers, for sourcing all ingredients from local farms and purveyors. This ensures we get the freshest, seasonal ingredients. We also get the benefits of bulk purchasing and consolidated delivery to keep costs low.

For online ordering infrastructure, we have built direct integrations with UberEats, Grubhub, and DoorDash which account for 95% of delivery share in our market. Customers can seamlessly order across these apps.

Our kitchen is fully equipped with commercial ranges, chillers, workstations, and packaging equipment tailored for our globally inspired menu. We have all the necessary capabilities in-house for soup-to-nuts meal preparation and delivery dispatch.

Financial Plan

The Financial Plan converts all the operational details into numeric projections. This section should provide hard figures on costs, sales, profitability, and funding needs.

Key elements ghost kitchens should include:

  • Itemizing startup costs – kitchen equipment, licensing, legal, branding.
  • Listing ongoing fixed and variable operating expenses based on the business model.
  • Forecasting monthly and annual sales based on market data, prices, and order volumes.
  • Developing P&L statements based on realistic assumptions. Project profit margins.
  • Detailing cash flow needs and burn rate expectations by month, tied to growth plans.
  • Conducting breakeven analysis on when profitability is reached.
  • Performing sensitivity analysis on how variances in assumptions like order values or food costs impact financials.
  • Outlining key assumptions underlying all financial projections made.

The goal is to demonstrate the economic viability and profit potential of the ghost kitchen based on intelligent financial modeling. Identify risks, challenges, and capital requirements.

Funding Request

The Funding Request quantifies how much capital you need to launch and when investors can expect returns. It should clearly articulate how investment will be used.

Key elements ghost kitchens should cover in this section:

  • Stating the total capital amount you are requesting from investors and expected equity to provide.
  • Detailing specific use of funds. How much will go towards kitchen build-out, operating expenses, hiring staff, marketing, etc?
  • Outlining milestones that additional funding amounts will be needed to achieve.
  • Projecting investor ROI timelines based on financial forecasts. When can they expect payback?
  • Calculating ROI multiples expected at exit strategies like acquisition or franchise expansion.
  • Describing how you arrived at the valuation for the business. Justify projected valuation at maturity.
  • Explaining how investor funds specifically will accelerate growth and enable scaling.

The goal is to tie the funding request to clear business growth plans and demonstrate sizable upside potential on investment at exit. Be transparent on risks and timeline expectations.

We are seeking $550,000 in seed funding for a 25% equity stake in PizzaCo. This capital will enable us to set up our ghost kitchen operations and execute our aggressive expansion strategy for Chicago.

Use of Funds:

  • $125,000 for kitchen build-out and equipment
  • $100,000 for product development and menu finalization
  • $150,000 for hiring staff and employee training
  • $175,000 for marketing and promotions
  • Based on our financial projections, investors can expect an estimated 3x ROI within 5 years as we scale to 15 locations in Chicago and begin franchising nationally. The virtual kitchen model provides attractive unit economics and accelerated growth.

Keto Bite is requesting $450,000 in exchange for 20% equity ownership. These funds will allow us to establish our Austin ghost kitchen and achieve rapid growth.

Capital uses:

  • $200,000 for commercial kitchen leasehold improvements & equipment
  • $125,000 for startup operating expenses and staffing
  • $125,000 for a comprehensive digital marketing strategy

We aim to reach profitability by year 2. Given consumer demand for ketogenic meals, we expect to franchise nationally within 4 years for an estimated 5x ROI. Austin’s affluent market provides a prime launchpad for this specialty concept. We invite investors hungry for a stake in the future of food delivery.

How To Write a Conclusion

Here are some tips on writing an effective conclusion for a ghost kitchen business plan:

The conclusion should summarize the most compelling points and create a call to action for potential investors. It reinforces why your ghost kitchen is primed for success.

Key elements ghost kitchens should cover:

  • Briefly recap the market opportunity as delivery dining habits shift.
  • Summarize your unique value proposition and sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Highlight your experienced founding team and any traction to date.
  • Emphasize projected profitability and return potential.
  • Note how you’ll leverage data and technology for efficient operations.
  • List out the immediate next steps you’ll take post-funding to hit the ground running.
  • Close with a statement on how your ghost kitchen is positioned to become the premier player in the space.
  • Include a call to action for investors to help seize the opportunity and grow with you.

The goal is to leave readers excited by the growth prospects, upside potential, and your capability to execute. Demonstrate you have a prudent plan to build a thriving virtual restaurant. The conclusion should spur investors to act.

The ghost kitchen model represents a compelling opportunity to meet rising consumer demand for delivery. By focusing exclusively on off-premise dining, we can optimize operations and economics not possible with traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Urban Chef’s competitive advantage stems from our diverse global street food menu tailored for delivery. Our centralized virtual kitchen location provides cost efficiencies traditional takeout restaurants lack. We are led by an experienced team combining culinary and operational expertise with data analytics capabilities.

With the funding we have outlined, Urban Chef is poised to become the premier ghost kitchen for exotic and crave-worthy delivery meals in Chicago. We will quickly scale by leveraging our omnichannel digital marketing strengths.

The next steps include finalizing our lease agreement, completing the kitchen build-out, and bringing on a talented head chef to refine the menu. We will also initiate recruiting and onboarding of our hiring pipeline to be ready for launch. Site selection analysis will begin for a second ghost kitchen location to expand our market footprint.

This opportunity aligns perfectly with changing consumer habits. We welcome investors with a vision to help Urban Chef establish market leadership in this emerging segment.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways from This Guide

In conclusion, a winning ghost kitchen business plan clearly articulates every aspect of your virtual restaurant concept and growth strategy. It demonstrates to investors that you have thoroughly evaluated the opportunity, crafted a differentiated value proposition, and developed an executable plan for profitability.

Key takeaways for developing an effective ghost kitchen business plan include:

  • Conducting extensive market research into customer demand drivers, competition, and industry trends to inform your model.
  • Describing your unique branding, menu offerings, and positioning to stand out.
  • Detailing an omnichannel marketing plan tailored for digital and delivery promotion.
  • Mapping out the supply chain, staffing, equipment, and technology like a POS system that you need for smooth operations.
  • Building comprehensive financial projections supported by intelligent assumptions.
  • Quantifying capital requirements and use of funds to fuel growth milestones.

With a comprehensive business plan that checks all the boxes, you can compellingly convey the vision for your ghost kitchen and the expected return on investment. Use it to open doors to funding sources and accelerate your pathway to profitability.

The next steps are to finalize sections, incorporate investor feedback, and keep refining the plan as you execute. View it as a living document to update as you gather data and achieve milestones. With a clear roadmap guiding decisions, your ghost kitchen can gain momentum on the journey to success.

You might also like:
Best Cloud & Ghost Kitchen POS Systems
How to Choose The Best Ghost Kitchen Business Model
How to Start a Ghost Kitchen Business: A Step-by-Step Guide


Here are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a ghost kitchen business plan:

  • Failing to clearly explain the ghost kitchen model – Don’t assume investors inherently understand the virtual restaurant concept. Concisely describe how it works.
  • Weak competitive analysis – Thoroughly research direct and indirect competitors both local and national. Outline your differentiation.
  • Unrealistic financial projections – Base sales forecasts, expenses, growth timelines on actual market data – not aspirational guesses.
  • Overcomplicated concept – Avoid overly complex menus or branding that will be hard to execute operationally. Keep it simple.
  • No risk analysis – Address potential challenges like fickle demand, thin margins, reliance on delivery apps.
  • Lack of customer insights – Include relevant market research, surveys, interviews to back up customer targeting.
  • Ignoring unit economics – Calculate projected profitability per location to ensure model works.
  • Vague marketing plan – Get detailed on tactics, channels, influencer partnerships that will attract customers.
  • Failure to size funding need – Many ghost kitchens underestimate startup and operating capital required.
  • Not conveying passion – Infuse the business plan with your enthusiasm and founder journey. Make investors believe.

Conduct diligence in each section and avoid unnecessary assumptions. Demonstrate your ghost kitchen concept is grounded in intelligent planning.

Here are some common challenges faced by ghost kitchens and tips on how to address them in your business plan:

  • Low Barriers to Entry – Highlight your unique value proposition and sustainable competitive advantage that sets you apart.
  • High Real Estate Costs – Research optimal locations that balance space costs with demand and delivery range.
  • Managing Variable Demand – Develop projections using historical data and plan staffing/inventory accordingly.
  • Digitizing Operations – Detail your integrated tech stack for seamless order management across platforms.
  • Accessing Capital – Quantify funding needs and outline specific uses and growth milestones.
  • Thin Profit Margins – Structure lean operations and prevent waste to maximize per unit economics.
  • Fickle Customer Loyalty – Have a retention strategy, not just acquisition, to build repeat business.
  • Reliance on Delivery Apps – Describe alternatives like direct ordering and corporate/catering channels.
  • Food Safety & Packaging – Outline safety procedures, operating processes, and packaging solutions.
  • Talent Shortages – Highlight recruitment plan and training programs for kitchen and delivery staff.

The more you demonstrate awareness of risks and solutions in your plan, the more investor confidence you will build.

Here are some of the key criteria investors typically look for when evaluating ghost kitchen startups to invest in:

  • Experienced founding team with culinary and operational expertise
  • Clear value proposition and competitive advantage
  • Differentiated brand positioning and a menu offering
  • A solid market analysis demonstrating demand drivers
  • A financially prudent business model with realistic projections
  • Omnichannel sales strategy beyond just delivery apps
  • Scalability of concept for multi-unit expansion
  • Advanced food production and ordering technology stack
  • Strong unit economics and path to profitability
  • Defensible IP, whether recipes, processes, or software
  • Reasonable capital requirements and growth milestones
  • Track record executing or iterating quickly based on data
  • Community involvement, partnerships, and marketing savvy
  • Potential for add-on revenue streams like CPG, licensing, etc.

Essentially investors want to see that ghost kitchen founders understand the business model intricacies, have a solid plan to drive profitability, and can scale the concept wisely with investment. Unique offerings, use of technology, and experienced teams help attract funding.

Some common challenges ghost kitchen startups face in attracting investors include:

  • Lack of customer validation – Investors want to see evidence of real demand before committing capital. Many startups lack proof their concept will sell.
  • Unclear path to profitability – With razor-thin margins, investors question if unit economics will work long-term. Financial models may be too optimistic.
  • Unproven management team – First-time food entrepreneurs without experience raising capital or managing a commercial kitchen carry more perceived risk.
  • Emerging industry – Some investors are still educating themselves on the virtual restaurant model and market landscape. Fewer data exist.
  • Physical footprint risk – Not yet securing a kitchen location adds uncertainty around costs and delivery logistics.
  • Competition from larger players – Major chains launching their own ghost brands makes it harder for independents to gain share.
  • Technology risk – Relying on third-party delivery apps and ordering platforms creates vulnerability if terms change.
  • Differentiation challenge – Many ghost kitchen concepts lack a distinct brand identity or menu innovation.
  • Smaller check sizes – Lower average orders limit profit upside compared to dine-in restaurants.

The more a startup can demonstrate traction, experience, and a prudent plan addressing these concerns, the higher likelihood of obtaining funding.

Avatar photo

Jan is a writer and content creator at with a focus on the restaurant and food service industry. Drawing from his background in tech and UX design, Jan breaks down complex systems into digestible, actionable insights.

We Help Restaurants Build A Thriving Business
Our free online education guides restaurants through practical technology upgrades, marketing strategies, and business operations fine-tuned for 2024 and beyond.


Content Brand AB
Norrbackagatan 14.
SE-11341 Stockholm