There’s a growing trend in the food industry that could be of major interest to new entrepreneurs and small businesses. Shared kitchens, sometimes also referred to as kitchen incubators or community kitchens, basically allow chefs, bakers, caterers, or other food-related professionals to split the cost of a professional kitchen space. This offers a ton of potential practical and cost benefits.
If you’re thinking about starting a food business or may be interested in utilizing this concept for your existing business, here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Shared Kitchen?
A shared kitchen is a commercial kitchen shared space that has been licensed, certified, and equipped for professional food production. The space is available for entrepreneurs to rent, usually through flexible plans. Basically, they’re like membership organizations for food businesses. You pay a monthly rate based on how much time you need to use the space.
Some require you to sign up for a specific amount of time that stays fairly steady each month. Others allow you to be more flexible and just rent space by the hour as you need it. Regardless of the specific model you go with, you get access to the space and all of the equipment and regulatory compliance it provides. Some shared kitchens also provide complementary services for food businesses, like access to packaging resources or business training courses.
These spaces are really meant for food businesses that don’t need to deal with consumers directly at their food production location. Event caterers, wholesale bakers, packaged food sellers, and even food truck vendors can all make use of this type of space. They’re not ideal for actual restaurants, since they mainly just provide the kitchen space and don’t offer extra space or accommodations for consumers to visit. However, many do offer food storage space so you don’t necessarily need to take everything with you when you leave after each visit.