October 14, 2020

Peter Cook, Publisher

The ghost kitchen trend, which seems to have begun so recently is becoming even more innovative in how it is operated. The news this week seems to be a clear indication of that. Major grocery store brand Kroger Co. has partnered with ClusterTruck earlier this week to be a “host kitchen” for them. Aside from so-called “host kitchens”, a development that is beginning to gain popularity is the “virtual food hall”. If ghost kitchens remain as dominant in the restaurant industry as they are now, will these recent trends follow suit?

Please let us know what we can do to make your Ghost Kitchen Digest better for you. In the meantime, grab some coffee and enjoy the newsletter!

Issue #12

Kroger Brings ClusterTruck ‘Ghost Kitchens’ On-Premise for meal Delivery

Following a successful pilot, The Kroger Co. is launching two “ghost kitchens” with partner ClusterTruck inside stores in metropolitan Indianapolis and outside Columbus, Ohio, for on-demand delivery of fresh-made meals.


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ClusterTruck Takes Us Inside Their Kitchen

Chris Baggott, co-founder and CEO of ClusterTruck, explains the relationship with Kroger and their on-premise ghost kitchens.


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Kitchen United Promotes Michael Montagano to CEO

The ghost kitchen provider’s former CFO replaces Jim Collins, who has left the company to pursue other endeavors.


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Smokey Bones’ Virtual Wing Brand Is off to the Races

With the virtual brand’s expansion to 61 locations since launch, customers confirmed the desire for chicken wings in the digital space.


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Qdoba’s Post-COVID Transformation Is Underway

Because of its performance during the pandemic, the 25-year-old brand put itself in a position to launch an aggressive multi-unit franchising growth strategy that Welsh believes will lead to 1,000 units and potentially north of 2,000.


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Frontera Taps Tillster To Deploy Ghost Kitchens

Tillster, a global leader in digital ordering and engagement solutions for restaurants, announced its partnership with Tortas Frontera to support the brand’s pivot to 100 percent digital ordering amid the Coronavirus pandemic.


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Famous Dave's Expands Ghost Kitchens Through Johnny Carino's Partnership

Famous Dave's signed a 25-unit development agreement with Bluestone Hospitality Group to expand its footprint through both Famous Dave's ghost kitchens and co-branded restaurants with Bluestone's Johnny Carino's brand.


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Zuul Fuels New Yorkers' Return to Work with Virtual Food Hall

Zuul has partnered with some of NYC’s largest property developers including Silverstein Properties and Broad Street Development to launch partnerships that include a white-label online ordering portal and custom website for a bespoke experience.


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Which Wich Goes Virtual in London

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, a Texas-based, game-changing sandwich brand has announced it is opening two new virtual restaurant locations in Battersea and Bethnal Green this month.


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Wow Bao's Dark Kitchen Initiative Surpasses 100 Locations Nationwide in Just Six Months

Wow Bao announced that its Dark Kitchen initiative has surpassed 100 locations nationwide in only a six month time frame, an unprecedented amount for the restaurant industry.


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Ghost Kitchen Calculator

Thinking about developing a ghost kitchen business plan? Use this calculator to crunch the numbers and determine profitability.


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How To Make Ghost Kitchens and Virtual Brands Profitable

Jumping into a ghost kitchen may seem like a way to recoup lost dining room sales during the pandemic, but operators need to consider food costs, labor, marketing and brand equity to ensure a payoff.


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Ghost Kitchens, COVID and Drive-Thru… Oh My!

We are in the middle of a global pandemic, an Industrial Revolution, and are witnessing the implosion of the restaurant industry.


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Cloud Kitchens: a Technology-Driven Phenomenon

Like seemingly everything else, technology has been taking over the food industry. Around 60% of new restaurants fail within the first year, and almost 80% shut down before their fifth anniversary.


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What Does the Future of Pizza Look Like?

From ghost kitchens to foodbots and modular pizzerias with smaller footprints, technology and innovation will redefine, reshape and resize tomorrow’s pizzeria.


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The Halal Guys Is Pivoting for a Socially Distant World

The Halal Guys wasn’t a typical company, and it wouldn’t be a typical franchise.


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With Virtual ‘Ghost’ Kitchens on the Rise, What’s the Potential for Abuse?

Podcast - Virtual kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens, have become a booming economy across Los Angeles and other parts of the country. The coronavirus pandemic has played a major role because of an increased demand for food delivery services.


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David Chang’s Fuku Now Sells Delivery-Only Chicken Sandwiches in D.C.

Fuku, the fried chicken sandwich brand that intends to compete with the likes of Chick-Fil-A and Popeyes, opened up delivery-only ordering in Northwest D.C. and Arlington.


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A 'Virtual Food Hall' To Debut in Philadelphia

New options for delivery and takeout are coming to Philadelphia. The Commons, described as a "virtual food hall," will be a collection of ghost kitchens operating out of The Post and Walnut Street Café in University City.


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