The pandemic created some strange conditions for running a restaurant business: Dining rooms became burdens that operators wanted to unload. Then, amid the high consumer demand for delivered food, ghost kitchens looked like the perfect solution, promising low overhead costs and efficient preparation. Now, it’s become clear that ghost kitchens aren’t the stand-alone powerhouses we once thought they could be – and they very much rely on the strength of their parent restaurant brand to succeed. As reported in Restaurant Business recently, the ghost kitchen provider CloudKitchens is struggling to recruit restaurants into its facilities because the market has shifted in the past couple of years and operators aren’t solely relying on delivery to generate business. In fact, they are realizing the benefits of having people in their dining rooms or at least onsite collecting their food. Is there a lesson anywhere here? Economic and environmental conditions have sent restaurants on a wild rollercoaster ride in the past few years. Just like the ingredients in your pantry, your business should have the ability to pivot in different directions based on shifting demand. That could mean harnessing technology to operate more leanly, scaling up areas of the business that can handle additional traffic and slowing down parts that can’t. It could also mean rethinking your real estate and your team so their functions can also pivot with shifting demand. How flexible is your model? Is there room to reinvent it based on different scenarios?