Timmy elsewhere

A new gig, might work out:

Apparently Travis Kalanick, serial entrepreneur and Uber co-founder, is investing heavily in “dark kitchens” along with some vast numbers of people. The point here being not that his or anyone elses’ investment is going to be successful but that the general move toward dark kitchens is both logical and inevitable. After all, what is it Domino’s has been doing all these decades?

The idea of dark kitchens is an extension of the various food delivery services. Just Eat, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, every urban centre the world around is now packed with companies offering to pick up and deliver from the local restaurant scene. It is beginning to click that the traditional front end of the restaurant is the portion of the system that isn’t necessary nor profoundly profitable.

Think through the economics of that trade.

42 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Very nice for twats who are too lazy to cook for themselves. Mass organise call-girls and the useless scum of the Earth need never leave their home. They can house arrest themselves on the cheap. And then whinge about/top themselves cos “depression”.

    The social side of dining kind of matters. Like the Pub or the cinema/theatre part of it is going somewhere and doing something not the daily routine.

    Perhaps TPTB want us totally atomised and in contact with no one whose conversation they can’t monitor via the airwaves.

    Piss on this turd’s “dark kitchens”. Make sure you have a supply of beetles for some “contaminated with insect parts” scenarios to help sink the bastards.

  2. Little time for remainiac rubbish like Coppola but when you are right you are right.

    She is the same type of well heeled middle class Marxist Bubbler as our own dear Facepainting scum. And proof of why Jizz will not be getting a remainer revival of his gang. His “plans” are the “dirty fingernails in their prosperous hides” that I have so often taunted the Facepainter with. Also they know Jizz can do NONE of his nationalising bullshit inside the EU. So they can’t count on his remain loyalty that way either. Jizz has shown vast stupidity in allowing Bliarite shite Starmer to con him about throwing his lot in with remainiac traitor scum. But now he has pissed off almost everybody. He has only the really stupid “My Dads”, young snot at the Dumb End and his beardy pals–and that only the moss since Hindus have denounced him over his Kashmir RoP-sucking verbals.

    We still need to not split the vote or be complacent. A good hiding will break ZaNu hopefully and then we can turn our attention to the shite of BluLabour that Theo is still busy paying bills for.

  3. I think you might be getting over-exercised about the evils of food delivery Ecksy.

    Civilisation didn’t collapse when you nipped out to pick up a Chinky for the family, nor will it if said meal is delivered from a ‘dark kitchen’.

  4. MC–He doesn’t sound like just another takeaway merchant. He sounds like he wants to do to restaurants what Bliar did to pubs. *

    Maybe commercial hype and hot air–but that sounds like his aim at least.

    * I think Bliar’s war crimes trial should be held in a big pub somewhere in the UK. A Weatherspoons perhaps–the Brexit angle adding extra enjoyment–and free beer for Judge and Jury alike.

  5. Nice article Tim.

    And, in the geographical sense, anyone can do it. I get leaflets through all the time from local restaurants (within 1-2 miles) flogging their delivery service. Occasionally, if not chains etc, they might be appealing – with a nice looking up market menu, and a pitch towards quality at a competitive price level.

    These leaflets don’t need a high street presence, and it’s obvious that some in fact don’t (delivery only), hence, from a competition angle, any keen chef might easily grow a small local following. Local being a plus point here over other forms of internet delivery.

  6. A local pub by me closed a long time back.
    It reopened a couple years back and has been doing quite well for itself since.
    After speaking with the landlord, it turned out that the previous residents, a bunch of chinese folks, had been staying in the place and using the kitchens as a chinese takeaway.
    All that was required was to post a couple thousand menus around the area and get some lad on a moped to whizz round doing deliveries.
    I don’t know whether this was done under the radar without registering as a business and paying tax etc.

    It does strike me though as a good way to make a bit of cash fast – guerilla fast food, lol!

    Certainly makes a change from the usual urban hydroponic horticulture.

  7. Back when I had a warehouse if we were working late I often had a meal delivered.
    The meals possible were far more than simply takeaway stuff – some places will do nice restaurant style meals without the massive expense of a restaurant.
    Meal out last time I took the wife to a restaurant, £50 plus taxi fare. Nice good quality meal with starter and pudding, £20 delivered 4 years ago.

    My 21st wedding anniversary we had a quick 20 minute meal on nice plates with a little wine, surrounded by packages and stuff to be packed! The meal was at least as good as what I had paid £50 plus for elsewhere. The joys of working 20 hour days…

  8. This Kalanick we’re talking about about here, so it’s a given that he’ll start taking the piss pretty much immediately and fuck it right up.

    Nothing really wrong with the model, it’s just that I don’t think it’ll work out that well, if at all.

  9. OT I was thinking about the WASPI situation and the Labour offer to give them free money. Does this not open any government so minded to legal action by men of a similar age, on the basis of sexual discrimination? Sure there are 3m men born in the same period who would then be able to claim that they were being discriminated against purely on ground they are male?

  10. A cousin got loved up moved out of parents and in with new girl. At Xmas they were discussing plans for doing up their new place. New girl earned eternal opprobrium from would be MiL for saying that they were pulling down a wall to free up space and getting rid of the kitchen. No need for one as she never cooked. Instead they would eat out, have take-aways or use the microwave. Later after the shouting and the harumphing subsided tried to work out what the capital savings versus the expenditure were. (turned out they were just winding up the olds) and a year or so after that when i went to Singapore found out it was entirely normal for singaporean households, where space is such a premium, to prefer a bedroom to a kitchen and have all meals prepared by a hawker centre.

    Possibly mentioned in Tim’s article, i can’t access it annoyingly, but if you abolished all Kitchens in the UK housing stock- what is the equivalent of housing space you have just “built”?

  11. We tried a Domino’s pizza once. Foul.

    Our local Chinky “carry oot” does some good stuff though. We must use it about once a month.

  12. One convenient but rarely-mentioned implication is that vastly different cuisines can be prepared in the same kitchen. You send out flyers for Great Wall Chinese, Flavours of Bombay, and Luigi’s Italian Pizzeria, all three coming from the same kitchen. The Chinese and Indian both use the same rice; the Indian tandoor oven can also be used for pizza, and so on. Only the spice mix really changes.

    Hallowed Be,
    If you knock out all the kitchens, where do you have breakfast?

  13. Apparently it’s just short of 13.5 sqm of 85 sqm so on the order of 16%. So just shy of 4.5m “new dwellings”. Curiously, the average kitchen size appears to be the same as the average master bedroom size.

  14. It’s a millennial thing.

    I can go to Dominos and get a pizza for 8 bucks. I can have them deliver the same pizza, with tip added it’s 15 bucks. I’d never do it. My son does all the time.

  15. The reason this is growing now is partly the internet. It’s a lot easier to do a complex order on a form than over the phone – the reason that Chinese takeaways number their menus is so you can call in a complex order without it taking forever and being subject to errors.

    But the other big factor is the decline of the car. Back before people had cars, you had to walk to the takeaway place, and that meant for most people that there was just the one takeout place, the fish-and-chip shop. When people had cars, they could drive to a bunch of takeaways, and that’s when the Chinese and the Indian places (and then the chicken shops) really took off.

    But people, especially people living in cities, don’t all have cars any more. Bringing a takeaway home on the bus means that it’s cold by the time you get there. But if your takeaway delivers, then what you are doing is using someone else’s car (or motorbike) – like Uber is using someone else’s car for the few occasions you need one. Combine the sort of millennials who use public transport because they can’t afford/don’t need to own a car and the older boomers who shouldn’t be driving any more but still have plenty of cash, and there’s a lot of market for delivery food.

    Now, there are some foods that taste better ten/fifteen minutes after cooking than others. One reason that pizza took off is that a pizza box will keep the pizza palatable for plenty of time to deliver it. Same for Chinese or Indian in trays. Other things are fine if you stick them in the microwave for a couple of minutes to reheat them (e.g. a lot of pasta in sauce). But something like a freshly cooked steak? No, that would be a really bad idea for delivery.

  16. “the reason that Chinese takeaways number their menus is so you can call in a complex order without it taking forever and being subject to errors”

    And because people can’t fvcking pronounce the names.

    “Now, there are some foods that taste better ten/fifteen minutes after cooking than others.”

    It’s true. I noted decades ago that most Italian food is BETTER when reheated.

  17. “But people, especially people living in cities, don’t all have cars any more. Bringing a takeaway home on the bus means that it’s cold by the time you get there. But if your takeaway delivers, then what you are doing is using someone else’s car (or motorbike) – like Uber is using someone else’s car for the few occasions you need one. Combine the sort of millennials who use public transport because they can’t afford/don’t need to own a car and the older boomers who shouldn’t be driving any more but still have plenty of cash, and there’s a lot of market for delivery food.”

    Go to Waitrose or Sainsbury’s on the way to the bus, grab a chicken jalfrezi, rice and nan and microwave them when you get home. You’ll probably get your curry quicker, even if you have to catch the next bus, and you’ll pay £5 instead of £15.

    I haven’t had a takeaway in years.

  18. One local Sainsburys is set up so that a customer (expected mainly to be research students and post docs, I think) can text in his pizza order, leave the lab and get on his bike, collect the hot pizza, and retire to his flat to scoff it.

  19. Curious, Ducky. Salad bars and deli counters are ubiquitous in U.S. supermarkets. Have they done away in England?

  20. HB “Andrew M- the dining room?”

    The dining room went long ago, now part of the kitchen which, if not a new-build shoe-box, has probably been extended. Judging by some of the property ads I’ve seen new apartments, even v. expensive ones, have a fancy [show only] kitchen as part of the living room.

  21. GC; not really. There was a point, may be 15~20 years ago?, when they got rolled out into the existing estate, which didn’t quite yet include the smaller metro/express stores. Shortly after, there were a few cases of food poisoning that led to the usual expected media panic.

    In the UK, during the seventies, British Home Stores had a restaurant type affair in pretty much every store, which I think persisted right up until they went tits up.

    Anyway, following that little scare, Tesco/Sainsbury et al went down the BHS route offering hot food. The salad/deli stuff is still there.

  22. Tim, you link to this article also on ConTel. May I suggest that you haven’t quite got this linking business right.
    Both here and at ConTel the link is almost hidden away on a single non-keyword (‘out’,’here’). This isn’t helping the reader to find out what and where it is, nor is it helping search engines to do the same. Yet this is content elsewhere you have a most legitimate interest in promoting. By contrast from time to time you post long articles which are a poorly camouflaged ad for online gambling sites which do nothing to improve your sites ranking.

  23. Wasn’t it Ramsay go to into a spot of bother when it turned out he had a warehouse setup doing most of the prep and cooking for his London restaurants and they just finished off/reheated in house, some joke about Michelin supposed to be stars not the tyres

  24. Bloke in North Dorset

    Here’s a test for a “dark kitchen”: can you deliver decent fish’n’chips?

    There’s an interesting story <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/10/23/772775254/episode-946-fries-of-the-future&quot;here about a food scientist who was visiting China and was intrigued by all the mopeds she saw. When she realised it was food delivery she realised it would soon catch on in the USA and that they’d need to do something about french fries staying crispy. He team developed away of keeping them crisp for >20minutes.

    I’m not sure it will work for fish’n’chips but no doubt someone will try it when the patent expires of maybe even licence it.

    I agree with others, Indian and Chinese are ideal for delivery. Pizza not so much but when I’ve had takeaways I found they’re much better the next after being warmed up quickly on a high heat.

    Whenever we get a Gurkha takeaway (its too far for delivery) we always buy at least 2x quantity (in reality 3x what we eat) and freeze the rest as its much better after a few weeks or even months, and its a damned good meal in the first place.

  25. Did read that locally due to the health rules for food trucks a group of them got together and had hired a warehouse and setup communal kitchen and storage facilities as well as somewhere to park the trucks at night

  26. Murphy will be happy. He doesn’t want people trading without government in between them.

    Food trucks getting together and having a warehouse. Sorta takes the mom & pop out of it. Mamá & papá in America. Actually, negocio familiar. Mom & pop is an American idiom, unknown to spanish speakers.

  27. DJC “The dining room went long ago, now part of the kitchen which…”

    yes,i’d say to call it a home you still need somewhere to sit down and eat. But to continue running with the possibilies, if it costs100k to have another bedroom in a similar dimensioned house, making it a bedroom and outsourcing your kitchen might be tempting for some no? If the kitchen is already the sole eating area then you’re still left with saving on the food prep and storage space, capital equipment, the running costs and the time savings for cleaning and cooking. Currently the existing restaurant/ take out industry (in UK) is heavily geared up for the weekly night treat market, but dark kitchen’s sound much more flexible. If their efficiencies lead to lower prices it opens up a viable option to use them not just for 1 meal a week but everyday.

  28. I fear that you might be over-thinking this; one hundred large for a bedroom?

    I don’t think build costs have changed that much; about a grand, all in, per square metre. That’s about £14,000 for any room that’s about those sizes given earlier. Kitchen equipment, new, about £400 per oven, fridge, freezer, whatever. Call it two~three large, and done, unless you’re into glod and emerald taps. Where are you getting the other £80,000 from?

  29. @Tim

    Thanks for reinstating Elsewhere

    The hack to eating well in any continental European city is that you always go off the main drag

    Applies in UK too. Basement/Cellar restaurants are another example – best Calamari I’ve ever had was in one, cheap too

  30. @Jim November 28, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    They would have a good case, but no political/msm support.

    Women only want equality where it benefits them. Remember all the wailing about women’s car insurance premiums going up? Remember big nothing about men’s annuity payments going down?

    @Andrew M

    Breakfast anywhere

    @Gamecock November 28, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    It’s a millennial thing.

    Spot on and it’s why they can’t “afford” rent, mortgage, deposit…

    imo it’s quicker & easier to toss a frozen pizza in oven (or even microwave) than order and wait for not hot, but warm delivery.

    @Richard Gadsden

    +1 Insightful

    @Gamecock November 28, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Gone in most Tesco, Morrisons have them and hot food usually sold-out before 17:00 – on way home today grabbed two hot Chicken Breasts & wings reduced from £4 to £1 and bag of salad for 15p, a nice tasty quick meal for us.

    @Ducky McDuckface November 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Blair & Prescott changed law and required greater housing density – smaller rooms & gardens. Thus, as usual, Gov’t interference in free market to blame

    Cons have not repealed

    @BiND November 28, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    C4 food prog reported on soggy chip prob last Tuesday(?) 20:30(?)

  31. Pcar; house/room sizes peaked for those new dwellings built during the seventies, and have been falling each decade since. I’d be very interested to learn how Blair/Brown managed to achieve this.

  32. Ducky- i’m definitely overthinking it yes. one post script – the Singaporeans (that i knew) used the extra room for a maid… who would go fetch the food from the market. Probably not going to happen in too many households here.

  33. Ah. Fair enough.

    There’s one area where it might be possible; student accommodation and bedsits, HOMO stuff. Very small kitchen, multi-function microwave, small fridge, sink, minimal storage. If the Shadow Restaurant System is able to reduce costs to that type of user by what?, 20%?, then it’s probably a winner, for somebody at least.

    Those users are probably not evenly distributed across the country, or even the larger urban centres, and there could be interesting effects on the structure of the housing market if it hasn’t already begun.

  34. The flat I bought in 1985 was 32m², I believe the minimum now is 38m². A bedroom, a shower room, a living room with ‘kitchen’ in an alcove. I thought I would move on in a few years, it was home for 30. I didn’t eat out much, nor have many takeaways, at times when working long hours maybe too many ready meals. So, it is possible to live in such a small space, it helps if you do not entertain at home much, spend significant time travelling and visiting friends and family.
    I have moved now, the price of a two bed cottage with sizeable garden in the country is significantly less than that City centre flat, though somehow I can’t quite break the habit of only really using one room.

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