“People want to know where their food comes from now more than ever.” Today’s food movement emphasizes organic, farm-to-table, and local food trends in which community and collaboration are an essential part of the eating experience and the eater’s identity.


Commissary kitchens, also known as shared-use kitchens, are physical infrastructures that are essential components of any local food system. In most cases, to legally sell food to consumers, the food must be produced in a licensed commercial space.


These areas, regulated by the local health authority, provide a safe and clean atmosphere that adheres to food safety and human health regulations. 


Multiple tenants or food enterprises can rent or use commissary kitchens by the hour, shift, day, week, or month. Local chefs, caterers, food trucks, product producers, craftspeople, restaurateurs, and others call these kitchens home. 


A commissary owner builds a commercial kitchen that complies with local health and safety requirements and obtains all necessary permits. Food trucks, ghost kitchens, and caterers are placeless dining enterprises that rent or lease the commissary kitchens. Restaurants, bakeries, and social clubs occasionally rent out their up-to-code kitchen rooms as commissaries to supplement their income.  

Image Credit: gocheetah

Owners of commissaries turn commercial cooking space into a rented service, a business model referred to as KaaS. (kitchen as a service). The landlord wants their tenants to follow their facility’s regulations and code requirements. The tenant expects specific kitchen supplies and facilities from their landlord, just as any other tenant/landlord relationship does. 


Everyone who works in a commissary kitchen has one thing in common: a love for food. This enthusiasm can manifest itself in a variety of ways. These are some of the types of individuals and foodservice operators who might rent a commercial kitchen facility, but they are not all: 


  • Bakers
  • Food truck vendors
  • Chain Restaurants
  • Local restaurants
  • Food entrepreneurs
  • Energy Bar developers
  • Caterers


What is the purpose of commissaries? It’s not a case of one size fits all. The reasons are as diverse as the pasta shapes. However, similar to pasta, the causes frequently boil down to the same elements.


If their state does not allow them to cook in their trucks, food truck proprietors may use commissaries to prepare food. Restaurants can utilize them to create a delivery-only menu or to augment a commercial kitchen that isn’t big enough. They can be used by entrepreneurs to test new recipes and develop delivery-only food brands. 


Commissary kitchens versus ghost kitchens 

Image Credit: foodtruckoperator

Restaurants and individual enterprises alike can benefit from ghost kitchens.

Commissary kitchens can be used by restaurant chains, local eateries, and food entrepreneurs to meet their needs. In contrast, ghost kitchens are for delivery-only business models. There is no public or dine-in presence for the brand. Instead, they concentrate on making food as rapidly as possible so that it can reach customers.


For example, on a food delivery app, you might find “Ovenstory” as an option. You could order their delicious pizza and lasagnas to be delivered to your door. Still, you wouldn’t be able to visit Ovenstory because it doesn’t have a storefront. The food would be prepared in their ghost kitchen by their cooks, who would receive the delivery order. The order would be picked up and delivered by the delivery executive. 


For a variety of reasons, different types of ghost kitchens are produced. If you’re wondering how to start a ghost kitchen, it’s a good idea to first consider why they’re a good idea.