In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of food premises due to social distancing requirements, the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces has issued a Development Order known as the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Takeaway Food and Beverages) Order 2020.

The order allows for existing cafe’s, restaurants, pubs, small bars, community facilities, cooking schools and function centres to operate as a “Dark Kitchen”.

What is a Dark Kitchen?

Great question! It is a term that has been created by the increasing food delivery economy created by businesses such as Uber Eats, Menu Log, Door Dash, Deliveroo, etc. More recently, this has become the norm for food and drink shops that have been ordered to close down and turn to delivery/takeaway only.

The Dark Kitchen concept is one where the kitchen of a cafe/restaurant or the like operates with no customers or wait staff. Rather, the kitchen prepared pre-ordered meals for pickup by the customer or delivery by on of the food delivery services available.

So What Does This All Mean?

Perhaps this is the new “normal” that we will all become used to or maybe just something to get us through the pandemic in the short term. Either way, life as we know it has changed and is likely to create similar changes to what we have always known as “normal”.