OnTrend Concepts

September 15, 2022

Peter Cook, Editor

I apologize for this week’s issue being a little delayed.  I am wrapping it up at the Amsterdam Schipol Airport on the way back from a great week in London and Amsterdam.

In preparation for the International Ghost Kitchen Conference (being held in March in Amsterdam), we did a site visit to the conference venue (the Beurs van Berlage, which is beautiful venue in the heart of Amsterdam).  We have confirmed several new speakers and sponsors on this trip and we look forward to announcing those soon.  Anyone interested in expanding internationally (or anyone who could be a resource for companies looking to expand) should plan on attending the conference.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss participating.

On Wednesday we hosted a lunch with about 30 leaders from the ghost kitchen, delivery, and foodtech industry (including several regional restaurant chains) in London.  It was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with old friends and to make new ones.  We look forward to seeing many of them again in Amsterdam in March.  We are planning to host a similar gathering of industry leaders in Dubai in November.  Please let us know if you would be interested in receiving an invitation (seats will be limited).

On to the news from this week.  ItsaCheckmate, MrBeast Burger, SoftBank, QDOBA, and The Cloud all have some interesting announcements.

And now, the news…

Issue #110

ItsaCheckmate Launches Restaurant Direct Integration with Google

ItsaCheckmate announced the launch of Restaurant Direct, a new integration with Order with Google.

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MrBeast named richest creator in world by Forbes

He’s recognized by the magazine and website as the world’s wealthiest and top-notch creator.

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SoftBank Reportedly Considering Third Vision Fund

The Japanese investment giant backing WeWork, Gopuff and more is considering a third Vision Fund to invest in startups.

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Inspire Brands adds chief company restaurant officer, two brand COOs

These appointments coincide with Inspire’s turn toward nontraditional operations, including digital-only stores, ghost kitchens and modular construction units, as potential growth drivers.

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QDOBA Mexican Eats debuts its food in Austin, Texas through new ghost kitchen partnership

Partnership with REEF Technology expands QDOBA's flavor-filled menu in Texas.

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Del Taco Plots Changes Under Jack in the Box

Among other changes, Del Taco is rolling out a new sandwich concept which they first successfully tested in ghost kitchens.

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How the creator of the ‘fine-fast-casual’ category is tackling franchising

Jacquet is going to employ something akin to a hub and spoke model that ghost kitchens have used.

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What TikTok’s Ghost Kitchen Craze Means For Brands

Never one to let a good idea go to waste, TikTok announced that it is partnering with VDC and Grubhub to bring users a delivery option featuring recipes that go viral on TikTok.

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Data Snapshot: It’s still early days for ghost kitchen investment

In 2021, deals in the Cloud Retail Infrastructure category increased 61% over 2020.

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Why Worthwhile Tech Investments Don’t Have to be Flashy

Sometimes, it’s better to invest in solutions that solve your biggest business pain points.

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How Technology Can Help Restaurants Address Rising Inflation Challenges

With varying consumer behaviors that have shifted dine-in/out expectations, restaurants need to be modernized in order to best meet needs.

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There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to right-sizing your restaurant's tech stack

Don’t be distracted by bells and whistles: technology experts discuss the basics of figuring out a tech stack that’s right for you.

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Take Your Fries and Leave

Why fast food is racing to ditch the dining room.

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Restaurants show growing appetite for ghost kitchens

How the world eats has changed dramatically.

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Inside the business of ghost kitchens: ‘It’s a streamlined service’

The ghost kitchen model capitalizes on the growing use of delivery apps by serving meals exclusively through delivery or pick-up.

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How Restaurants Can Beat The Supply Chain Blues

Along with the good news of increased business, we are seeing other challenges.

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Emergence of ‘ghost kitchens’ helped some who were struggling during pandemic make ends meet

Even with record-high inflation on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic gave rise to new possibilities.

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Can I Eat It? And Other Questions We Have About Food in the Metaverse

Please, someone get your 12-year-old nephew to explain to me what is going on.

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Man Sparks Debate for 'Selling' Frozen Pizzas on DoorDash: 'Is That Legal?'

A popular TikToker sparked debate after revealing he was selling frozen pizzas from Walmart on DoorDash.

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UK: Restaurant Group ceases Wagamama dark kitchen expansion as delivery sales dip

The Restaurant Group has ceased the roll out of Wagamama delivery kitchens in the UK due to the market “softening” since the significant growth in the number of dark kitchens during the height of the pandemic, and will also reduce its number of pub openings over the next year.

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India: Speciality Restaurants to expand; plans 20-30 cloud kitchens, 6 restaurants

At present, there are about 13 independent cloud kitchens, but the numbers are set to increase.

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India: Not so easy! Zomato's real world problems with 10-minute delivery, intercity service

Zomato recently made another key announcement towards its exclusive focus of being a food services company.

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Southeast Asia: Grab faces crossroads in food delivery as restaurant dining returns

Southeast Asian leader joins competitors in shaking up growth strategies.

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Pakistan: How to blow $85 million in 11 months: The inside story of Airlift’s crash

While the company focused on quick grocery (not ghost kitchens), but there are lessons that easily apply to ghost kitchens as well.

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Abu Dhabi's The Cloud takes in $10m as Series A funding

The Cloud intends to use latest funds for a Saudi expansion spree.

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MENA: Ghost Kitchens in MENA: A Multi-Billion Dollar Opportunity

Market overview and a couple of success stories.

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Podcast: Why it takes more to operate a ghost kitchen efficiently?

TrendTalk: Michael Jones and Stephan M. Leuschner discuss about the recent disruptions within the food delivery and ghost kitchen space and why data, the presumably "new gold", does not automatically pay the bills.

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