How To Choose a Private or Shared Use Kitchen Rental in London

A picture of a flame in commercial kitchen to rent

Just starting out, scaling up, or looking for space to build a fresh product line for your food business? You need a commercial kitchen to rent

As a fledgling food business owner, one of the most important things to think about is the type of kitchen space you require and how it can meet your needs. Let’s look at which type of commercial kitchen completes the pie for your food business in London; a private or shared used kitchen rental? We explore the options below, in more detail.

What are the different types of commercial kitchen rental

Commercial kitchens offer the perfect solution for any long or short-term food business demands of any kind and offer many benefits; commercial kitchens are adaptable and built specifically to handle large volumes and output. Commercial Kitchens should also meet all legislation, licensing, and inspection requirements for the preparation and storage, and storage of food.

There are two main types of licensed commercial kitchens for rent; private and shared use:

Private commercial kitchen to rent

A Private commercial kitchen provides sole use of a space that only contains the equipment, ingredients, and space you need. Private kitchens are ideal for dark kitchen /virtual restaurants and food delivery businesses that only need a kitchen space during normal business hours. Private commercial kitchens are also ideal as a central production unit offering space for larger restaurants to produce food in bit part before delivery to distributed restaurant outlets. We also work with pubs to provide pub kitchens to rent and pub residencies to rent.

Shared commercial kitchen to rent

Shared kitchens are usually large fitted spaces used by multiple food businesses. Typically the landlord or space owner rents their commissary kitchen space and cooking equipment to multiple small or time-specific food businesses at once or it could be a share of their own kitchen. An example of this would be a cafe owner who only opens until lunchtime but then rents their kitchen for an afternoon/evening to a delivery-specific service. This could also be the use case for pop chefs or food vans who need space irregularly. Owners will normally nominate storage space throughout the kitchen with agreed time slots and cleaning standards in place for when they each use the kitchen. The space owner/tenant typically both share the cost of fees/utilities or pricing can be on an all-inclusive basis.

Private commercial kitchen hire; The Benefits

  • Workspace – A Private kitchen offers more room for commercial equipment and appliances as well as for dry and cold storage. A private kitchen also provides more room for staff and helps to avoid any conflict in the kitchen.
  • Exclusive Use – Working the hours that chefs do, in particular as they are building their business or increasing their production capabilities, a commercial or catering kitchen space with your own private space offers the room and freedom to work as they wish.
  • Dry and cold storage – Many private commercial kitchen spaces and also a  dark kitchen, will benefit from dry and cold storage within the kitchen. This is essential to operating efficiently within the kitchen.
  • The flexibility of space – You can use the space how you please and can open and operate at any time during licensed hours. 
  • Control of space – You have more space in a private kitchen to run your restaurant business and allocate space in a way that suits you best allowing you total control over your business and the option of more space when the time comes to scale your business.
  • Lower overhead and running costs – The owner of the kitchen owner will look after more of the admin aspect of running a kitchen including food standard agency certificates, late night, and alcohol licenses. The majority of the kitchens available on Share There will also include utilities and are licensed with general repairs included.  These costs are then rolled up into one monthly affordable payment. 
  • Regulation and Compliance –  Commercial kitchens meet the food standards agency and any local regulations that may be in place and cover the preparation and storage of food types served to paying customers.


Shared use kitchen rentals; The Benefits

  • Shorter lease lengths and licenses – Shared kitchen space doesn’t require a long-term lease. A business will only pay for the actual time that they use the kitchen – whether that’s by the hour or even a time-shared arrangement. This saves money as you are only using the space on a pay-as-you-go basis. This is important if you only intend to trade for limited periods of time or have set opening hours. For example pizza delivery at night or a breakfast delivery service. 
  • Mutual Business Relationships –  Renting a shared space, you become part of a community of other chefs and professionals. When you share a kitchen you can benefit from the advice of other business owners utilising each other’s experience and advice, with some businesses leveraging the opportunity to share staffing and help to even out trading peaks and troughs. 
  • Cost-effective and reduced overheads – When operating a dark kitchen alongside another business, this helps to reduce each other’s costs as you are sharing not just the space cost but also the overheads attached to this. Some kitchen sharers also share the cost of direct-to-consumer delivery. A kitchen share or timeshare is the easiest way to reduce your overheads as an existing space owner or a business ready to share space and ultimately, each increases profitability and lower overheads. 

Are you searching for your perfect, kitchen? Look no further. Share There offer kitchens to rent with complete flexibility and locations across the UK. Enquire now or take a look at one of Kitchens to rent in London.

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How to use tech in a commercial kitchen

Whew! Running a commercial kitchen is no joke! It takes a whole lot of know-how on food safety, menu planning, smooth workflows, and managing staff like a pro. But hold onto your hats, folks, because with the help of cutting-edge technology, modern kitchens are cooking up a storm and staying ahead of the game!

That’s right, chefs can now whip up a storm in the kitchen more efficiently and effectively than ever before! With apps that streamline and automate ordering, and fancy-pants artificial intelligence (AI) that can handle the boring bits, tech is totally transforming the way we run our kitchens.

So, let’s get cooking and see how this tech wizardry is making life in the kitchen a whole lot simpler!

Food production

isten up, foodies! The kitchen game has changed and tech is leading the charge! Say goodbye to the old-school ways of taking orders and storing ingredients – we’re talking about the cutting edge stuff!

With automated ordering systems, consistency is key! No more errors or human slip-ups – technology takes care of it all! Staff can now focus on cooking up a storm and getting those meals out to hungry customers, without worrying about manual order entry.

And let’s talk refrigeration – smart refrigeration systems are the real MVPs! They help maintain a consistent temperature throughout storage areas, keeping food fresh and preventing waste. No more sad, wilted produce or spoiled meats – technology’s got your back!

But wait, there’s more! Cloud-based inventory management means chefs can stay on top of their ingredient status in real-time, without even leaving the kitchen. This makes budgeting a breeze and ensures that every dish comes out tasting like pure perfection!

So, are you ready to up your kitchen game with the power of tech? Let’s get cooking!

Kitchen equipment

Listen up, foodies! The kitchen game has been taken to a whole new level with the power of modern tech! From lightning-fast cooking equipment to dishwashers that can tackle even the toughest grime, these gadgets are changing the game in commercial kitchens everywhere.

Automated fryers are the real MVPs, cooking up tasty grub faster and more accurately than ever before. And don’t even get us started on those dishwashing machines – they make cleaning a breeze, leaving plates and silverware sparkling like new!

But wait, there’s more! Internet-connected appliances are giving chefs the power to monitor temperatures remotely and stay on top of repairs and cleaning. Plus, sophisticated inventory management systems and automated ordering means that chefs can focus on what they do best – cooking up mouth-watering meals!

So, whether you’re a restaurant owner, a chef, or just a foodie, the world of kitchen tech is an exciting one to explore! Say goodbye to manual labour and hello to the future of cooking – it’s a delicious ride!

Task management

Listen up, kitchen crew! Are you tired of struggling to keep your team organised and on track? Well, it’s time to say hello to the power of automation!

With cutting-edge scheduling systems and task management apps, restaurant owners can keep their staff in sync and working together seamlessly. No more missed tasks or miscommunications – everyone can stay on top of their game and work like a well-oiled machine!

And the best part? Automation saves time and eliminates errors! No more endless paperwork or data entry mistakes – let the machines handle the boring stuff so you can focus on what really matters: serving up delicious dishes!

Plus, with built-in analytics features, restaurant owners can track performance metrics and ensure that tasks are completed accurately and on time. It’s like having a personal productivity coach right at your fingertips!

So, whether you’re a head chef, sous chef, or kitchen staff, it’s time to embrace the power of automation and take your kitchen game to the next level!

Staff management

In addition, digital inventory management systems help keep track of ingredient stock levels and alert when supplies are running low. This reduces waste, ensures menu consistency, and prevents the headache of running out of an important ingredient during service.

With advanced analytics tools, you can also track and analyse sales data, staffing levels and food costs, which provide valuable insights to make informed decisions about menu pricing, staff scheduling and ingredient purchasing.

In conclusion, technology is proving to be a game-changer in the world of commercial kitchen management. By adopting the latest software and tools, you can improve your staff management practices, boost productivity, and ensure your customers receive the best quality dishes possible. So why not put down that pen and paper and embrace the power of tech to take your kitchen to the next level?

Food waste

Smart cold food storage solutions are also becoming increasingly popular in commercial kitchens. These systems use advanced technology to monitor the temperature of stored food, ensuring it stays at the optimal level to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage. Some even have built-in sensors that can detect when food is nearing its expiration date, alerting staff to use it up before it goes bad.

In addition, digital kitchen management systems allow chefs and managers to track food waste data in real-time. By analysing this data, they can identify areas where waste is occurring and take steps to reduce it. For example, they might adjust recipes to use less of an ingredient or change the way they prepare certain dishes to minimise waste.

Overall, technology is proving to be a valuable tool in the fight against food waste in the restaurant industry. By implementing these innovative solutions, commercial kitchens can reduce waste, save money, and help create a more sustainable future. So why not join the movement and make your kitchen a leader in reducing food waste through the power of technology?

Health and safety

n addition to the benefits of food safety and resource optimization, the use of technology in the restaurant industry can also improve customer experiences. For example, digital ordering and payment systems can reduce wait times and increase order accuracy, while mobile apps and loyalty programs can enhance customer engagement and encourage repeat business.

Furthermore, technology can also enable restaurants to offer more personalized experiences to customers. For instance, data analytics can help restaurants to understand customer preferences and purchasing patterns, allowing them to tailor menus and promotions to individual customers.

Overall, the use of technology in the restaurant industry has the potential to revolutionize the way restaurants operate, from food safety and resource optimization to customer experiences and personalized marketing. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting advancements that will shape the future of the restaurant industry.

POS systems

It’s great to see how technology is making POS systems more flexible and efficient, allowing restaurant owners to easily manage their sales data on the go. Another advantage of modern POS systems is their ability to integrate with other business tools, such as inventory management software and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

By integrating these systems, restaurant owners can gain a comprehensive view of their business operations, from inventory levels and sales data to customer feedback and marketing campaigns. This information can help them make informed decisions about their menu, pricing, and marketing strategies, ultimately driving growth and profitability.

Furthermore, modern POS systems can also support a variety of payment options, including mobile payments and contactless payments, which are becoming increasingly popular among customers. These payment options not only offer a more convenient experience for customers, but they can also help reduce transaction times, improving overall efficiency in the commercial kitchen.

Overall, the integration of technology into POS systems has the potential to improve many aspects of running a commercial kitchen, from sales tracking and inventory management to customer engagement and payment processing. It’s exciting to see how technology will continue to evolve and improve these systems in the future.

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Picture of a food delivery bag being delivered

Overcome the issues of starting a food delivery business

Over come the issues of starting a food delivery business

Feast your eyes on this tasty tidbit of information! In the past, a night out at your favorite restaurant meant dressing up and mingling with friends over a scrumptious meal. But now, things have taken a bit of a different turn. Sure, we still love sharing a meal with our loved ones, but the convenience of ordering in and chowing down in the comfort of our own homes has become increasingly popular.

In fact, the global revenue for online food delivery is predicted to hit a mouth-watering £241.40bn by 2022, and with an impressive annual growth rate of 5.8%, it’s expected to reach a staggering £321.30bn by 2027. So, for all you food enthusiasts out there dreaming of starting your own food delivery business or for restaurants looking to expand, the delivery model could be the recipe for success.

The issues and fixes for food delivery companies

Starting a business can be a bit intimidating, and the food industry is no exception. 

As you embark on this journey, it’s natural to have some doubts and reservations. But don’t worry, we’re here to squash those fears and guide you through the process of launching a food delivery business from a dark kitchen or within a pub kitchen residency to rent. From the potential challenges to solutions for overcoming them, we’ve got you covered. 

So, let’s dive in and turn your business dreams into a delicious reality!

The competition: Issues with customer retention

It’s no surprise that the food delivery market is extremely crowded, and the competition is fierce. With so many established food businesses using food delivery apps and already having a loyal customer base, it can be difficult for smaller, independent food brands and new startups looking to make a name for themselves and gain customer loyalty. 

However, this should not discourage you, this is an opportunity for you to come up with creative ways to differentiate your brand, create a unique offering and make sure your customer service is top-notch. 

There’s always a way to stand out and make your food delivery business successful in a dark kitchen, pub residency to rent or food pitch. From the potential challenges to solutions for overcoming them, we’ve got you covered. 

So, let’s find those solutions!

The solution

There are a few ways for startups to beat established competition in the food delivery market. One strategy is to offer discounts and promotions to attract new customers. For example, launching the business with introductory offers such as a free side with a main, a “meal deal” option, or a discount on orders over a certain amount can be a great way to catch the attention of potential customers.

Once you have successfully gained customers, it’s important to keep them coming back. One way to do this is by offering delicious food that aligns with the trends, tastes, and preferences of your target market. Be aware that consumer preferences change frequently, so if you can’t offer the food that your customers are craving, they will likely move on to the next option.

Another key aspect is to ensure that your customer service is top-notch. Your customer service team should be highly responsive, friendly, and offer help and support. Customers not only buy the food, but they also buy into the brand, and great customer service can play a big role in building loyalty.

Lastly, offering a loyalty scheme is another way to encourage repeat customers. This can be something like a rewards program where customers earn points for each purchase and can redeem them for discounts or free items.

Poor quality and quantity of marketing

Are you a delivery-only kitchen feeling left out of the restaurant spotlight?

No worries, there’s a way to make your online food business shine just as brightly as those fancy high-street eateries. The key is to focus on building a strong online presence through creative digital marketing strategies. Get those taste buds tingling with mouth-watering food photos and videos that show the behind-the-scenes of your kitchen.

Partner up with foodie influencers, or run exciting promotions and contests to attract new customers. By building a loyal customer base and creating a unique online presence, you’ll be sure to stand out in the competitive world of food delivery.

So, don’t just rely on delivery apps!


The solution

So you want to take your food delivery biz to the next level? It’s time to focus on your marketing strategy!

First things first, figure out your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Once you know that, you can start planning your marketing strategy. And let’s be real, what’s more mouth-watering than a delicious social media post? Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are a great place to start. But don’t stop there, think outside the box and explore other options like flyering or even billboards.

The point is, you can’t afford to not have a marketing strategy in place if you want to compete with the big players. So, take some time to plan and execute a strategy that will help you reach your target audience and bring in more customers. Trust us, your taste buds (and your bank account) will thank you!

Get your price right

Deciding on a pricing strategy for your food business can be a tricky task. With a constantly changing customer base and volatile food and supply costs, it’s important to find a balance that works for everyone.

One approach is to use a cost-plus pricing strategy, where you determine your costs and then add a markup to determine the price. However, this can be difficult to implement in a market with fluctuating costs. Another approach is to use a value-based pricing strategy, where you determine the value that your product or service provides to the customer and base your prices on that.

It’s also important to note that using offensive or defensive pricing models to compete with your opponents may not always be the best approach and may negatively affect your business in the long run. It’s essential to carefully analyze your costs and competition and come up with a pricing strategy that works for your unique business.

Ultimately, the key to successful pricing in the food business is to constantly monitor the market, review your costs, and make adjustments as necessary. Keep your prices fair and competitive, and most importantly, communicate effectively with your customers.

The solution

Another approach to consider is implementing dynamic pricing, which adjusts prices based on real-time demand and market conditions. This can help you stay competitive while also ensuring that your prices cover your overhead costs. Additionally, you can consider offering promotions, discounts, and loyalty programs to attract customers and encourage repeat business.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that transparency is key when it comes to pricing. Communicating your pricing strategy and any changes clearly to your customers can help build trust and loyalty.

In summary, setting a pricing strategy for your food delivery business can be challenging, but by staying competitive, monitoring market trends and consumer behavior, and keeping your overhead costs in mind, you can increase your profit margins while keeping customers happy.

Varying food quality

Delivering delicious meals to hungry bellies is a tasty challenge! But, getting that hot and fresh meal from the kitchen to your customer’s doorstep can be a real test of endurance. It’s like a food marathon on wheels, with your meal braving the elements on the back of a trusty bicycle.

But, no worries! With the right techniques and tools, we’ll make sure your meal arrives at the finish line just as scrumptious as when it left the kitchen.

The solution

Before you start selling, invest in premium packing materials to maintain the quality of food orders on their journey. 

You should also ensure every delivery driver has an adequate, insulated food bag before they collect orders from your pick-up point and deliver the food to the customer. 

Sharethere’s food delivery kitchens are ready and waiting to fuel your business.

Whether you want to sell your food on UberEats, Deliveroo or independently or take up residency in a pub kitchen or food market, our kitchens to rent in London and cold storage rooms can help you reach your goals. 

Check out the Uk’s largest selection of kitchens to rent to get started!

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A graph from Statista showing Uk food business revenue

How profitable are dark kitchens?

How profitable are dark kitchens?

A Dark kitchen to rent, sometimes known as cloud kitchens or virtual kitchens have increased massively in popularity in recent years. Things really kicked off during the pandemic when large numbers of food truck owners, who could no longer rely on events and event catering, took to a dark kitchen to continue their operations. 

Restaurants looking to expand and who had had success with their delivery menus also looked at a Dark kitchen as a way to drive up sales in new markets without the higher overheads and start-up costs of a traditional restaurant and to avoid the restrictions placed on them by the government. Some even downsized to delivery-only models once restrictions were lifted. 

Now the dark kitchen model is here to stay! 

Before starting any business it’s important to understand the costs involved and where you can profit the most from your food business. Keep on reading as we take a look at how to maximise profits from a dark kitchen and why they could work for you.

How do food delivery businesses operate

First of all let’s take a look at how the dark kitchen business model works:-

Dark kitchens have no shopfront and are often situated in ‘subprime’ locations. That’s not to say they aren’t well situated, just that they don’t have the high presence of a restaurant. 

They require less staff (no front of house) and customers don’t have direct access. 

Food is collected either by a delivery app rider (Deliveroo, Just Eat, Uber Eats etc) or by D2C delivery drivers employed by the restaurant

Profit margins of a food business

Let’s cover the basics first:-

Before going any further let’s cover the difference between your revenue and your profit margin.

Your profit margin is the difference between your total sales (revenue) and your costs to achieve this revenue. The difference between the two is your profit margin. 

Let’s break down the main costs you will incur while running a food business:-

Rent for your premises


Produce and Stock

Gas, Electric, Water

Rubbish Collection


Repairs and Maintenance

Commercial cooking equipment

Card processing fees and cash handling costs

Point of sale running costs

Taxes and VAT


It’s imperative that you understand the difference between revenue and sales. It’s impossible to run your food business without having at least a basic understanding of how the two are related. Having a grip on these basics will allow you to understand how to increase revenue, how to increase sales, project your cash flow and even how to lower your running costs and reduce waste.  

Different types of food businesses operate at different scales and each has their own individual costs associated to them.

To give you a rough guide to the costs involved, as a general rule of thumb a brick-and-mortar restaurant will normally run on a profit margin of 5%. For every £1 of revenue, 5p is profit. That being said it’s almost impossible to put a figure on what makes a great business or a great profit margin.

For example, a food business without a fixed kitchen, such as a small food truck or mobile catering operation may have profit margins as high as 20%. The downside to this is that their revenue will be much lower than a delivery business or restaurant business as they do not have the luxury of repeat customers in many cases.

However, the outlook for the UK restaurant industry is full of promise with a very bright outlook. The latest figures from the OFNS and Statista show that the Uk food and Beverage industry has increased year on year up until the pandemic of 2020. 

The latest statistics are yet to be released but many industry experts expect a return to an annual year-on-year increase with the UK food and beverage industry expected to be worth a staggering £70 billion per year. The OFNS recently announced that in the UK, in 2020, over 40,000 food businesses recorded a turnover of between £100,000 – £250,000 PA. This is expected to increase along with the Statista outlook.

A graph from Statista showing Uk food business revenue

How to work out the difference between gross and net profit?

There are two types of profit. Net and Gross. 

Gross profit is calculated by subtracting the cost of a product from the sale price of a product. Gross profit is a good way to guage an overview of your business and it’s day to day profitability. However, gross profit doesn’t show the true cost’s or profitability of your business. 

Net profit provides you with a much clearer picture of where the business is financially and if you are indeed making a profit. 

To work out your gross profit margin we need to deduct all of the costs associated with running your business. For a food business, the main costs will normally be, kitchen rent, staffing costs, utility bills, point of sale and cost of production.

How to calculate gross profit margins:

Retail price minus the cost of the product divided by the retail price

Let’s look at a simple example of this;-

You sell a burger for £10.00

The cost to produce the burger is £5.00

The calculation would be £10-£5= £5 

£5/£10= 0.5

0.5×100= 50% This is your gross profit margin

How to calculate net profit margin:-

To calculate your net profit margin we need to use the following calculation:

Total retail sales minus total expenses (not just product cost but all business costs) equals your net profit margin

Let’s try an example

Your total retail sales for October were £100,000 with total costs of £50,000

£100,000 minus £50,000 = £50,000

£50,000/£100,000= 0.5

0.5 x 100 = 50% net profit margin 

Are Dark kitchens more profitable than a restaurant?

So let’s get to the nitty gritty. What s more profitable? A Dark kitchen or a traditional restaurant?

There are many benefits of a dark kitchen, especially profitability and how you can increase those profits compared to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant. Let’s look at some of these below:-

Lower operation costs

Lower rent overheads

There’s no doubt that renting a dark kitchen or food delivery kitchen is cheaper than bricks and mortar restaurant. You don’t require the additional size required for a restaurant such as space for dining, customer toilets, and an area to meet and greet diners. You also save the refurbishment costs associated with creating a fit out for diners which can run into the £10,000’s and often more. Instead, costs can be focused on premises in a prime position that is perfectly suited to your size.    

Lower staff numbers

By losing the front of the house you save a lot of money on the staff roster salaries, administration and management. There is no need for waiters, bar staff, front-of-house management etc. Instead, focus on recruiting the very best chefs who can give their sole focus to creating great food.

Additional cost savings

Signage, fit out, cutlery and crockery, furniture, glassware and so on and so forth. These are all costs you will now save when choosing a ghost kitchen. When you add the staffing costs, logistics and rent savings into the mix things really start to add up. 

Reduced costs and time saving

Starting a food business, let alone a restaurant will normally be one of the biggest investment you will ever make. But by choosing a dark kitchen, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

The barrier to entry of opening a restaurant is huge. The investment required to start and run, normally at a loss for the initial launch period is huge. The advent of dark kitchens has lowered the upfront costs tremendously, bringing the dream of your own business much nearer than you might think.

By starting your food business from a commercial kitchen it removes much of the stress and associated costs of opening a food start up and provides a much quicker route to profitability.

Save yourself both cost and trouble by choosing a commercial kitchen to rent and avoid the pitfalls of a brick and mortar start up, such as;

Finding a High St unit or restaurant in a suitable location 

The costs of fit out, furnishing, and more

The legalities of taking in a long commercial lease 

The cost of a kitchen fit out 

Hiring a large number of staff 

The large upfront cost or the need to secure business finance

Improve your chances of success

As we’ve discussed, due to the high initial start up costs of High St outlet, a lot of restaurants never reach profitability and the runway before they do is, on average, 3 – 5 years.

The importance of reducing costs when starting out cannot be overstated. Lower capital investments and lower operating costs, equal more chance of success.

If you’re looking for a dark kitchen or commercial kitchen to start or expand your food business, you’re in the right place. Share There have flexible commercial kitchens to rent in exciting and prime locations across the UK. Perfect for giving you the best chance of success with your new food business and increasing profits when looking to expand! 

Check out our current selection of dark kitchens to rent, pub kitchens to rent and commercial kitchens to rent. Or call us to discuss your requirements in further detail – we’re always happy to help!

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