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  • Writer's pictureHomeCook

The Real Reason Restaurants Are Renting Their Kitchens

Empty restaurant

The idea of shared spaces isn’t new with the rise of coworking offices, art studios, and commissary kitchens. 

Shared spaces serve as a great avenue to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who you can network with, learn from, and collaborate with. Kitchens are no different, with food being a universal avenue for innovation and community building.

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the way we use spaces, restaurants were among the first to be affected. Struggling to keep their doors open, restaurant owners began to rent their kitchens during unused hours.

Renting their kitchens allowed them to reduce overhead costs through shared expenses, while also providing emerging food entrepreneurs access to commercial kitchens to expand their businesses. 

The shared kitchen concept helped keep restaurants' revenue flowing and continues to do so to this day.

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Unlock New Revenue Streams

The number of shared kitchens increased by 30% between 2016 and 2020, to more than 600 facilities in the U.S. An increasing number of food entrepreneurs need commercial kitchen spaces to expand their business operations, with high start-up costs being the main barrier.

Local restaurant owners and kitchen incubators, culinary facilities leasing kitchen spaces to multiple tenants in their early food business stage, have joined in on the haul. 

They’ve been able to unlock new revenue streams by renting their kitchen spaces, while also providing food entrepreneurs with the spaces that they need.

This revenue model has proven successful with 69% of kitchen incubators reporting an increase in revenue in 2020.

Chef preparing a burger in a shared kitchen

But why should YOU place your kitchen space for rent?

  • Your kitchen stays empty for long periods 

Depending on your kitchen, you might have specific peak hours like the mornings for breakfast preparation, afternoons for lunch, or evenings for dinner service. During the remaining hours, the kitchen may sit unused, leading to underutilization of resources and missed revenue opportunities.

For instance, If you start operations at 10:00 AM and you happen to have baking equipment, then you should consider a baker as your renter. Bakers start prepping in the early morning hours, so you can rent them your kitchen from 5 AM - 8 AM at a $40.00 rate, that’s already $120.00 of revenue before you open your restaurant!

  • You Have Long Off-Peak Hours

Some businesses, particularly those in the hospitality or food service industry, may experience extended periods of low activity known as off-peak hours. These off-peak hours can vary depending on factors such as location and seasonality. Putting your kitchen space can help offset fixed costs associated with maintaining the facility, such as rent, utilities, and equipment depreciation.

Using this approach to your resource utilization can make a difference in your bottom line and your community.

  • You need an extra revenue stream

Let’s face it, sometimes as a kitchen owner, you may not have consistent revenue streams. So putting your kitchen to rent might be a good option. It requires minimal upfront investment and operational changes. As a result, you get to supplement your primary business operations with a steady stream of passive income.

Monetizing underutilized assets is one of the secrets to improving a business’ resilience in the face of economic uncertainty.

Foster Innovation and Collaboration

Chef preparing dish in a shared kitchen

Renting your kitchen gives you access to networking and collaborative opportunities with like-minded food entrepreneurs. 

Each food entrepreneur has their unique way of brainstorming, refining, and experimenting with new menu concepts. Even better, when they have a diverse range of culinary talents and experiences, sharing your kitchen space provides you with someone you can learn from regularly. 

When you build a community around your kitchen space, you learn and grow as it expands.

Seamlessly Manage Your Space With HomeCook

HomeCook’s platform helps you manage it all.

Most restaurant owners who rent their kitchens struggle to manage their booking processes.

HomeCook’s booking feature simplifies this process with real-time availability.

You get to pick which dates and times work best for you and your kitchen, removing the back-and-forth texts and emails with the renter.

HomeCook also provides you with documentation management and verification tools. So you don’t need to chase down a renter for their food handler and liability insurance information. We’ll do it for you.

Finally, YOU get to customize YOUR rental rates and policies to suit YOUR business needs. We know it can be difficult to negotiate, so we cut that back and forth for you as well.

Want to Test It Out?

HomeCook is currently looking for enthusiastic kitchen operators in the DMV area willing to test our platform!


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