They have emerged from the shadows for a year. The “dark kitchens”, kitchens without rooms and without an audience, intended only for delivery or take-out, have multiplied with the health crisis. They are only available online on platforms like Uber Eats or Deliveroo. “Before we were considered to be eccentric, now we are taken for visionaries”, quips Jean Valfort, founder of Dévor (formerly Dark Kitchen) and one of the pioneers of virtual catering in France.
With the first confinement, requests have sharply increased for its “dark kitchen”: “In Paris, we sometimes went from 100 to 200 daily deliveries”, considers the entrepreneur restaurateur. His group created five fully virtual restaurants between 2018 and 2019, two more will soon open in the north of France and he hopes “Bring out about ten by the end of the year”.
How the great chefs adapt to the crisis so as not to sink (and try to resist the sirens of the “dark kitchen”)
It must be said that opening a virtual restaurant costs five to eight times less than a traditional restaurant. There are fewer staff, less furniture … and in the kitchens, no chefs or sous-chefs, only versatile employees, often used to working in fast food restaurants. Jean Valfort is confident in the future of the model.
The crisis, the trigger
“The phenomenon has accelerated with the crisis and teleworking, but we are counting
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