OnTrend Concepts

October 20, 2022

Peter Cook, Editor

This week the Ghost Kitchen Digest is overflowing with interesting news and analysis, as well as announcements regarding technology and partnerships.  Some of these articles have been pretty popular on LinkedIn, but some are a bit harder to find, so please take some time to read through the entire Digest.

Speaking of LinkedIn, if you have not yet joined, be sure to join the Ghost Kitchen Group on LinkedIn.  It’s an easy way to stay up to date and to network with others in the industry.

Because we group together most of the international news towards the end of the Digest, please make sure you read those international headlines/articles.  The ghost/cloud/dark/delivery kitchen industry in India, APAC, and MENA is well ahead of the rest of the world, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on what is going on there.  [And I know that India is a part of the APAC region, but there is so much industry news out of India I break that news out into a separate group each week.]

I’m looking forward to networking with many of these international leaders at the International Ghost Kitchen Conference in Amsterdam this March!  Sometime in the next week or two we’ll get the conference website updated with the many more confirmed speakers and sponsors.

Okay, enough from me.

And now, the news…


Issue #115

Jack in the Box opens first off-premise-only restaurant

The 1,350-square-foot restaurant features a double drive-thru, walk-up window for ordering, dual assembly kitchens and a pickup window for mobile and third-party delivery orders.

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Smokey Bones' Virtual Business Gets Even More Sophisticated

With the addition of more ghost concepts, the nextgen casual created a central website to carry everything, as opposed to operating multiple online ordering platforms.

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BurgerFi Opens 15th Gopuff Ghost Kitchen Location

The brand has opened 10 restaurant locations over the past 10 months and has opened its 15th Gopuff ghost kitchen location.

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Just Eat Takeaway.com Returns to Profitability Earlier than Expected

Company Adjusted EBITDA[1] profitable in Q3 2022, ahead of schedule.

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Coho Collective to Open Its Eighth Location in Canada Later This Year

Coho Pandora, a 19,932 square foot facility, will offer space for over 40 businesses to operate from, including ghost kitchens, caterers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, and act as a R&D hub for restaurants.

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Vegan Ghost Kitchen Opens in Over 20 Cities Across the Country

After making waves in the foodie scene, the pickup and delivery concept Man vs Fries launched a vegan venture. This year, the Black-owned vegan ghost kitchen will open in over 20 cities across the country.

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The next generation of ghost kitchens: 10 new startup concepts around the world

Today, early-stage startups founded in the last couple of years are the driving force of this cloud retail infrastructure segment.

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DoorDash launches in-stadium ordering with Golden State Warriors

It’s not exactly a ghost kitchen concept, but the idea is pretty cool.

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DoorDash Looking to Help C-Stores, Grocers Boost Incremental Purchases

Delivery service rolls out self-serve ad platform suite to help make it easier for CPG brands to advertise.

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Seattle, Uber Eats reach $3.3M settlement in gig worker pay case

Uber Eats has agreed to pay over $3.3 million to nearly 10,500 gig workers in Seattle for alleged violations of the city’s Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced.

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Restaurant Chains Pour Money into Effort to Kill California’s Fast-Food Wage Act

Chains like In-N-Out, Starbucks and Chipotle are contributing millions to a drive that would put the Fast Act on the 2024 ballot.

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Could HelloFresh Buy GrubHub?

Brittain Ladd provides his usual brilliant insights and suggestions as he looks at HelloFresh.

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How Restaurants are Building Loyalty with a Better Digital Experience

One of the pluses to emerge from COVID was the applications of new technologies.

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Digital Hospitality: Target Confirmed — How to Make Sure Your Restaurant Shows Up on Younger Consumers' Radars

Looking at the data, it appears that digital interaction with restaurants will become the norm as Millennials, Gen Z, and younger consumers age and fill the demographic spectrum, cradle to grave, of dining consumers.

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Podcast: Make Data-Driven Decisions For Your Restaurant

Sterling Douglass, CEO and Co-Founder of Chowly, Inc. joins Skip Kimpel to talk about data warehousing and the right way to do it.

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New Research from Deliverect Finds Consumers are Ordering More Delivery and Takeaways in Spite of Inflation and Increased Cost of Living

7,000 global consumers, including 1,019 Australians, were surveyed to identify preferences and changing habits when it comes to restaurant offerings.

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Grubhub, Starship deploy delivery bots across 5 college campuses

Delivery is currently available to over 170,000 students across the University of Kentucky; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Wayne State University; Southern Methodist University and Fairfield University.

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Drone Delivery is Coming, but there is some work to be done.

Aaron Hoffman from DeliverThat provides some quick comments on drone delivery.

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Should food suppliers worry about the growth of delivery?

Peter Backman provides great insights to the industry.

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Check Out This Video Preview of the International Ghost Kitchen Conference

The first conference to bring together leaders from ghost kitchens, QSR chains, foodtech, and delivery firms will be held in Amsterdam from March 1-3, 2023. It will focus on helping attendees and sponsors find the right partners to help each other expand into new markets around the world. Check it out.

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UK: Threat of beer and fast food shortages as delivery drivers prepare for walkouts

Fast food chains, through no fault of their own, may have to race to find alternative supplies in the event of a damaging strike by workers at Best Food Logistics while another delivery firm responsible for 40% of beer distribution is facing disruption.

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UK: Deliveroo and Klarna partner to offer smooth, flexible payments, whether you pay now or pay later

Consumers benefit from Klarna’s famously smooth payments experience, whether they choose to pay now or pay later, and can keep track of their spending in the Klarna app. Deliveroo customers will see Klarna as an additional payment option when they arrive at check-out, where they’ll be able to choose one of three payment options.

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UK: ‘Not a dark kitchen’: Taster to launch two pasta delivery sites a month with Jamie Oliver

Taster hopes to take the Jamie Oliver collaboration “very far” and turn it into the “biggest pasta brand in the UK,” according to founder and CEO Anton Soulier.

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EU: Casper's growth plans, the not so dark kitchen

After a flying start in Belgium, dark kitchen concept Casper can now also be found in the Netherlands. Although founder Matthias Laga prefers to speak of 'hybrid kitchens', because they are not that dark. "Why would you tape the windows? We have no secrets."

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EU: NRIs Bring Authentic Indian Food to Ireland With Tiffin Service

Anubhav Dutta and Siddhart Patel set up the cloud kitchen O'Desi Meals in Dublin, Ireland, as a way to fund a very heart-warming venture that caters to homeless people.

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EU: One Neighborhood in Lisbon is Fighting Against a CloudKitchens Brand

Normally we would not include an article about some locals who do not understand the ghost kitchen concept and are fighting against it. However, this article (which needs to be translated) does a nice job of explaining the market and approaches. Worth a read.

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MENA: Inside the $1Bn Dubai cloud kitchen 'Kitopi'

“Young Turks” caught up with Bader Ataya from Kitopi to hear about their hybrid model in the post-covid era by combining dine-in concepts with delivery.

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MENA: FOODICS to supply smart F&B ordering and payment tech solutions to KAFD

Under this partnership, KAFD will integrate FOODICS’ pioneering tech ecosystem with all points of sale for F&B, retail and pop-up outlets, as well as offices and residences.

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MENA: Deliverect and The Chefz partner up to help restaurants in KSA thrive

This partnership will allow restaurants to open new sales channels which in return increases their revenue.

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India: Terra Food Co Raises $1 M In Seed Funding

Terra Food Co a cloud kitchen startup raises $ 1 million in a seed funding round. The funds will be utilised for business expansion, innovative food technology, product technology and team expansion.

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India: Ghost Kitchens aims expansion of Food Tech Program by investing INR 50 crores in the next one year

With the 100th outlet in Bharuch in Gujarat, Ghost Kitchens has taken the overall tally to 1200 internet restaurants in the last 10 months becoming one of the fastest-growing internet restaurant tech platforms in India. Currently, Ghost kitchens is present across 35 cities including all major metropolitan centers.

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India: A Woman’s Place: Group of underprivileged women in Hyderabad find their calling, livelihood in cloud kitchen

A group of underprivileged women in Hyderabad find their calling––and livelihood––in a cloud kitchen that serves authentic Nizami meals.

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APAC: JustKitchen Licenses MrBeast Burger™ and Other Brands from Virtual Dining Concepts™ for Multiple Asian Markets

Consumers in Taiwan and Hong Kong to Continue Having Access to MrBeast Burger via the JustKitchen App and Third-Party Delivery Service Providers, with the Popular Brand Being Launched by the Company in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand Later This Year.

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APAC: ‘Ghost kitchens’ boom in Asia as pandemic sparks huge demand

Even before the pandemic sent an earthquake through the global restaurant trade, the ‘Amazonification’ of commercial kitchens was well underway, but coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions have fuelled explosive growth in Asia.

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Columbia: Foodology raises US$50 million by adding Maluma and the Arab fund Chimera as shareholders

The Colombian group of virtual restaurants — which has been operating in Peru since the beginning of this year — is serving 200,000 orders a month in the region, Foodology co-founders Daniela Izquierdo and Juan Guillermo Azuero told Forbes.

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