OnTrend Concepts

August 18, 2022

Peter Cook, Editor

The ghost kitchen and virtual brand news just keeps on coming!  Investments, partnerships, and new announcements continue.  It’s not all good news.  Some companies have had to pull back or make adjustments, but that’s healthy for the industry and for those specific companies.

Something that did jump out at me in pulling together the Digest this week is that several cities and countries appear to be looking to further regulate dark kitchens.  There were multiple articles on the topic (I did not include them all in the Digest), especially in France and Brazil.  Industry leaders and groups need to think about what we can do to help with public relations and public sentiment when it comes to operating.

Reach out to Pete Cook (pcook@ontrendconcepts.com) if you are interested in talking about international expansion.  Pete has meetings with industry leaders in the UK, EU, and UAE coming up, just to talk about how their approach international expansion, how they find the right partners, etc.  We’d love to have you as part of the conversation as well!

And now, the news…

Issue #106

Kitchen United CEO gives details on massive cross-industry fundraising

“We’re looking at areas not only adjacent to our industry and while some people might say they would want to disrupt these industries, our vision has always been to enable these partners to adapt to changing consumer preferences.”

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Kitchen United Announces New Chief Marketing Officer

Katie Wollrich brings her years of foodservice marketing to Los Angeles and KU.

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Coho Collective Kitchens Inc. Announces Former Reef Technology VP Operations as Senior Director, Business Development

Matthew Kenney joins Coho after an extensive career with Reef Technology as Vice President of Operations, with duties including Head of Kitchens & Retail (Canada).

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Virtual Food Hall Startup Byte Kitchen Raises $6M Series A

Enter Byte Kitchen, a San Mateo, CA, startup that announced a comparatively modest $6 million Series A round to expand its virtual food hall business. Yet it’s another signal that perhaps foodech is still attractive to investors.

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Veggie Grill Announces Delivery-Only Vegan Brand

Vegan Bowls for All is the chain's second virtual concept and fourth brand overall. It debuted in 29 restaurants.

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Gwyneth Paltrow Goopifies the LA Pizza Game With Gluten-Free Square Pies

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ghost kitchen empire is expanding with a new gluten-free pizza and pasta operation called Goop Superfina, now available for delivery or pickup in Studio City and launching in Santa Monica on August 31.

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Virtual Concept Smack Wings Launches Monthly $500 Sweepstakes

Smack Wings, a delivery-only virtual brand, has launched a $500-per-month sweepstakes for guests who order and leave a review on Uber Eats or DoorDash.

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O'Hare prepares to bid out lucrative concessions contracts

You can bet that whoever wins the contract will take a hard look at adding ghost kitchens.

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How delivery's newest player hopes to change the game

Gopuff is bringing delivery of food and consumer packaged goods to the masses.

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Experts: Savvy Ghost Kitchen Operators Can Still Succeed

“The biggest issue is the cost of customer acquisition, plus there is a lack of expertise regarding ghost kitchens. Figuring out the right model, the right pace and having patience are what we think will help us unleash the mammoth potential.”

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New Lincoln Kitchen brings a dozen ghost kitchen restaurants to Valpo

New ghost kitchen in Indiana shares insights, including lessons learned at the Ghost Kitchen Conference.

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Will Shared-Kitchens Remain Hot for the Long Term?

Ghost and shared-used kitchens are hot. Are they a passing fad or will the advantages of lower costs and more flexibility keep them growing in the culinary space for years to come?

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Asian food chain Camile pulls out of US market

The Irish-owned firm blamed the Ukraine war and Covid for the U-turn, and plans instead to double down on Irish and British markets.

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CloudKitchens Shuts Down Facility in Buffalo

Buffalo’s first multitenant ghost kitchen has closed, and tenants of the concept have mixed feelings about how it went down.

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Helbiz reviews income enhance however dwindling money reserves

Helbiz began out as a shared micromobility firm however has since expanded to incorporate ghost kitchens, media streaming and, most just lately, a taxi service.

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Middle-Tier Restaurants Threatened as Industry Bifurcates

Rob Crews, restaurant and diner behavior expert at Vericast, said middle-tier restaurants can be described as “fine-dining for the masses,” and warned tough economic times are likely to take their toll on them.

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The Rise of the Ghosts – The Impact of the Pandemic on Food Purchases

Academic paper explores the impact of ghost kitchens on food procurement practices.

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Podcast: Building a Business with Ghost Kitchens

The three partners of Maker Kitchens talk about how they grew from one location in Los Angeles to thirteen locations in the West and Midwest, with more coming soon.

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UK: Wendy’s Rolls Back on UK Growth Targets

Target number of UK restaurants is adjusted down modestly to 35 from 50-60.

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France: Motion for a Resolution to regulate the home food delivery sector

(article in French) The motion for a resolution (n°203) presented by Mrs Maud Gaatel invites the Government to reflect on a definition of home food delivery companies that are currently neither considered as shops and service activities, nor as other activities in the secondary or tertiary sectors.

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France: Two Dark Kitchens Raided by Police

(article in French) Anti-fraud division found multiple violations related to licensing, health and safety.

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Latin America: Study reveals that Latin Americans have high expectations with delivery

Article quickly summarizes the results of a recent study regarding attitudes and expectations for food delivery in Latin America.

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Brazil: Sao Paolo to Consider Regulations for Dark Kitchens

Commission set to deal with several urban issues, including dark kitchens.

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Brazil: Divino Stove invests in delivery and grows 56% in the first half

Of the network's 199 stores, 119 have already deployed the delivery sales channel and 10 are in the process of activation, while additional investment is being made in dark kitchens.

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MENA: EFS Group Forays Into Its Food And Beverage Business

Dubai-based EFS Group will launch its restaurant and cloud kitchen running under the banner of EFS Gourmet starting from August 15, 2022.

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MENA: Peter Schatzberg Founder & CEO of Sweetheart Kitchen: The Driving Force Behind the Growth of Virtual Kitchens

Interview with an American who brought his virtual kitchen experience from NYC to the Middle East. Solid interview.

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India: Cloud Kitchen Leader Curefoods launches Season 2 of Curefoods Accelerator Programme

The brands and participants of the programme will get access to the capital and network of Curefoods, and support from an extensive expertise stack of the brand.

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India: How Kitchen Tech Start-ups are Helping Swiggy and Zomato with Robotic Kitchens

Nice overview of a handful of India-based kitchen robotics solutions.

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APAC: F&B's digital revolution: How is the cloud kitchen concept evolving in APAC?

Faced with rapid changes in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, restaurants need to be ready to innovate to adapt to meet market demands. In the future, cloud kitchens will continue to pave the way for other digital food revolutions.

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APAC: P’Nut Street Noodles' general manager shares the pros and cons of cloud kitchens

She also shared strategies on mitigating impacts of labour woes and inflation.

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