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Ghost kitchen calculator

Thinking about developing a ghost kitchen business plan? Use this calculator to crunch the numbers and determine profitability.

Ghost kitchens are touted as a way to launch a restaurant with low overhead costs. This calculator can help operators assess the financial profile and determine the feasibility of a ghost kitchen before developing their own concept.

Illustration by Kendall Davis/Restaurant Dive

Formulas in the calculator below were created by Dan Fleischmann of Kitchen Fund. Data entered into the calculator will not be recorded or shared.

First, we’ll need some information about your restaurant and expectations for a ghost kitchen. Fill in each purple box in the three categories below.

We included preset data, which illustrates a typical restaurant’s operating structure in a major metro area. You can clear each box and add your own data by clicking inside. If you’d like to clear out all presets, use the “Clear presets” button.

Volume assumptions
Business info
Cost structure
Input data into all three categories:
Clear presets
Average order:
$
Daily transactions:
Restaurant’s direct channel:
Delivery sales ordered through restaurant’s native channel and not a 3rd party (e.g., DoorDash, Grubhub, etc.)
%
Clear presets
Hours open for delivery per day:
hours
Additional worker hours:
Employee working hours while closed to public (e.g., food prep, cleaning)
hours
Days open in the week:
days
Cooks per kitchen:
cooks
Hourly wage for cooks:
$
Benefits:
%
Payroll taxes & unemployment:
Includes Social Security tax, Medicare tax, unemployment tax, and workers’ compensation insurance
%
Cooks fully-loaded hourly expense:
$ 19.93
Manager hours per day:
hours
Manager hourly wage:
$
Manager fully-loaded hourly expense:
$ 19.93
Clear presets
Variable
Average 3rd party delivery commission:
%
Food and paper:
%
Commission to landlord:
Some ghost kitchen providers charge a % of sales in addition to other costs
%
Direct delivery fee:
Costs incurred for delivery drivers to fulfill orders placed through restaurant’s direct or native channel
%
Fixed (unit-level)
Rent & services:
Monthly rate for a ghost kitchen in major metropolitan markets can range from $8-12k
$
Other operating expenses:
Includes utilities, insurance, repairs & maintenance, non-perishable supplies, etc.
$
One-time investment
Equipment:
$
Security deposit:
$
Onboarding/entry fee:
$
Other:
$

Ghost kitchen business P&L

icon-arrow-downCreated with Sketch.
Amount % of sales
Total ghost kitchen sales
3rd party delivery commission
Food & paper
Commission to landlord
Gross profit
Labor
Rent
Delivery fee on direct sales
Other operating expenses
Profit

Returns analysis

icon-arrow-downCreated with Sketch.
Investment cost
Profit
ROIC

Methodology

For this story, Restaurant Dive used an economic model created by Dan Fleischmann, vice president at Kitchen Fund, an investor in the emerging restaurant sector. To create this model, Fleischmann leveraged his expertise assessing thousands of restaurants and his diligence of leading ghost kitchen providers and its tenants to build a tool for restaurant operators considering a ghost kitchen.