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Barcelona council suspends licenses of dark kitchens for one year

Move from local authorities aims to prevent the uncontrolled proliferation of this new activity, while giving time to draw up regulation

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26 March 2021 11:47 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Barcelona city council has suspended the licenses of dark kitchens operating in the Catalan capital for one year. 

The decision was made by the governing committee with the aim of preventing the businesses from proliferating in an uncontrolled manner, while the council have also given themselves time to draw up regulations that order this new type of activity.

The term “dark kitchen” also goes by many other names, including ‘ghost kitchen’, ‘virtual kitchen’, ‘cloud kitchen’, or even quite simply ‘delivery-only restaurant’. 

Dark kitchens are food businesses that don’t have any premises that can be visited in-person, no tables, chairs, ambience or atmosphere  a restaurant operating solely for delivery services. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has only served to make the business model a more attractive option.

At a press conference, the deputy mayor for urban planning, Janet Sanz, called on the Catalan government to co-operate with this new regulation.

At the moment, the city council do not know how many dark kitchens are operating in Barcelona. 

Just last week, Not So Dark, a French company operating with six different restaurant brands opened up in the Sant Gervasi area of the Catalan capital. 

These types of businesses often draw criticism from local neighbours living nearby, as they complain about noise pollution, smells, and smoke coming from the premises.

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  • Interior of the Not So Dark ghost kitchen in Barcelona (by Blanca Blay)

  • Interior of the Not So Dark ghost kitchen in Barcelona (by Blanca Blay)

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