OnTrend Concepts

September 22, 2022

Peter Cook, Editor

Plenty of interesting news and analysis this week!  Many of the big players are in the news (GrubHub, DoorDash, Starbucks, Virtual Dining Concepts, CloudKitchens, Popeyes, MrBeast, Bloomin Brands, Rebel Foods, Yandex, Zomato, Hustlers Hospitality, and plenty more!  Some great analysis too, including from thought leaders Peter Backman and Brittain Ladd.

OnTrend Concepts has some big news about to be announced, including some newly confirmed speakers and sponsors for the International Ghost Kitchen Conference, being held in Amsterdam in March, and a big announcement regarding the 3rd Annual Ghost Kitchen Conference!  Stay tuned for that news, and be sure to mark your calendars and budgets for those two big conferences.

And now, the news…

Issue #111

Aggregators Account for Only 2.5% of Restaurant Orders

In “The 2022 Restaurant Digital Divide: Food Aggregators Find Their Footing,” PYMNTS surveyed 2,217 consumers about how they interact with aggregators and restaurant apps and how they decide whether to have meals delivered, dine in a restaurant or pick up the meal to consume elsewhere.

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Grubhub and Bloomin' Brands Expand Partnership with More Restaurants

Diners can now order from Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill, with Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Tender Shack coming soon

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Starbucks and DoorDash launch delivery partnership, will expand offering nationwide in 2023

The two companies are currently testing delivery in Atlanta and will begin testing the offering in stores in Sacramento and Houston.

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Longo's Liberty Village is home to Canada's first grocery store ghost kitchen

Kitchen Hub’s brand new ghost kitchen inside Longo’s grocery store in Liberty Village allows customers to order and grab food from multiple restaurants under one roof.

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Virtual Dining Concepts CEO Stephanie Sollers on the “Super Engaged Fandom” that Fuels MrBeast Burger

The virtual brand now has a popular brick-and-mortar location. But will the chain franchise?

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MrBeast Hints at More Physical Locations after Record-Breaking Debut

The virtual brand is apparently exploring franchising after more than 10,000 people showed up to a grand opening at a New Jersey mall this month.

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Starbird Begins to Fulfill its Unit Growth Destiny

Through a combination of company-run and franchise growth, the fast casual hopes to double its unit count in the next 18 months. Late last year, the company closed a $12 million funding round led by KarpReilly. The capital injection intends to fuel corporate growth, ghost kitchens, licensing deals, and yes, the launch of a franchise offering.

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Understanding the Oft-Reference Delivery Business Model “The Fly Wheel”

Delivery expert Peter Backman gives a great overview of the different understandings and approaches of “the fly wheel” in the delivery company business model.

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How Are Ghost Kitchens Evolving Post-Pandemic?

Viggnesh Kandasamy, Founder & CTO of OneStopKitchen, is a technologist and entrepreneur in the field of restaurant technology. He discusses how ghost kitchen models may need to evolve post-COVID.

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Why Food Chains Are Not Bullish On Food Aggregators

Food chains like McDonald’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut are focussing on their own apps to drive direct traffic — this has been one of the trending topics on social media over the last week. But why?

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Circle K Owner Goes on Food Marketing Push

Couche-Tard (Circle K’s parent company) is making other investments in the food business. In July, it joined Kroger Co. and Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. in a $100 million funding round for Kitchen United Inc. The company is “intrigued” by the business model and said it’s possible Circle K could eventually use Kitchen United as a distribution point for food and grocery items. “We can provide snacks, chips, drinks, our food sandwich out in that same ecosystem or in conjunction with a Chick-Fil-A order or others,” he said.

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Chernin Group and Night Inc., Talent Management Company That Reps MrBeast, Form $100 Million Investment Firm

The firm said it will team up with creators who “will be key partners in driving the strategic vision and future business growth,” they said — modeled on the business ventures of MrBeast, aka Jimmy Donaldson, who has launched a national burger chain and a games company.

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Digital influencers captivate Gen Z attention

Virtual idols are artificial intelligence-powered digital characters that bear a close resemblance to real humans. As more and more young people become captivated by these virtual idols, their commercial value is also rising.

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The books that inspired dark-kitchen founder Anton Soulier

Goosebumps, Shoe Dog and Setting the Table: here are the books that have inspired Taster founder Anton Soulier.

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Podcast: Travis Kalanick’s excellent (and secret) venture

The Financial Times podcast talk about Travis Kalanick and CloudKitchens.

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Podcast: Armchair Attorney w/ Brittain Ladd

In this episode, the Armchair Attorney is joined by Brittain Ladd, a global thought leader on the topics of supply chain & retail. As writer & strategist, Brittan's insights on transformative technologies including the metaverse, micro-fulfillment, autonomous kitchens and dark kitchens, AI, & machine learning, shape the supply chains of tomorrow.

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Podcast: The Bro Show Discusses Ghost Kitchens

The Bros sit down with Master Chef, and Ghost Kitchen Extraordinaire, Jason Johnson. Through the power of collective economics, shared responsibilities, and scaled operations HUBB Kitchens is a one stop shop for ALL food industry creatives.

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Podcast: (in Portuguese): Dany Levkovits: FoodsBrands' multi-brand style

The important thing, he says, is to keep up with customer dynamics. With brands such as HNT, Mex Burritos, BR Kitchen, Fish Go and others, it has more than 60 stores and increasingly strengthens its dark kitchen operations. And now it's departing for international expansion.

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UK: All That and Dim Sum – How Dumpling Shack Grew into a Multi-Brand Business

From a street food stall on London’s Broadway Market, John Li and his wife Yee have turned Dumpling Shack into a multi-brand operator with global aspirations.

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UAE: Maristo Hospitality expands with the addition of all UAE Popeyes restaurants into its QSR Portfolio

Now all Popeyes® franchise restaurants will be operated by Maristo Hospitality taking the total number to 41 locations. Maristo Hospitality’s portfolio of concepts also includes Ralph’s Kitchen, a dark kitchen incubator.

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India: Rebel Foods plans to invest in more homegrown food services brands to expand its network of delivery kitchens across India

Raghav Joshi, co-founder at the company that runs cloud-kitchen brands such as Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, Ovenstory Pizza, Mandarin Oak and Slay Coffee said plans are afoot to invest in a brand specializing in north Indian cuisine.

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India: Rebel Foods CEO Jaydeep Barman's Recipe for Success

Jaydeep Barman is the creator of Faaso’s (now Rebel Foods), an Indian cloud kitchen restaurant enterprise that has swiftly taken off. Read the inspiring story of Jaydeep Barman on Famehall.

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India: Speciality Restaurant Ltd to focus on cloud kitchens

The company plans to open around 30 more cloud kitchens across the country and few abroad, including one in London, compared with only 6 restaurants in the next 18 months, even as guests return to sit-in dining with gusto with the gradual relaxation of pandemic-led restrictions.

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India: Hustlers Hospitality launches first QSR - KO Fried Chicken

Hustlers Hospitality, the Mumbai-based cloud kitchen giant, which has In-house brand portfolio of 24 active brands with 550 internet restaurants with 9 Central hub kitchens and 1 Cloud kitchen experience centre in India, announced the launch of their first QSR, named KO Fried Chicken at Oshiwara, Mumbai.

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India: Celcius Logistics launches special, tech-enabled cold chain solution for last mile delivery

The company has already secured contracts for storage and distribution from clients like Zepto, Maersk, Jubilant foodworks and others, and also handles distribution for Zomato, Rebel foods and a host of other Cloud kitchens and local businesses who get instant access to all the asset inventory via Celcius's last mile delivery platform.

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Russia's Yandex launches food delivery service in Armenia

Russian tech giant Yandex said it had launched food delivery service Yandex Eats in Armenia, delivering on a promise to develop its e-commerce offering after selling some other business lines to rival VK.

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