OnTrend Concepts

December 22, 2022

Peter Cook, Editor

From the team at OnTrend Concepts and the Ghost Kitchen Digest, we wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!  We’ll be taking next week off from the newsletter so we can spend time with our families.  We hope you have a chance to do the same!

And now, the news…

Issue #123

Will Inspire’s ‘Alliance Kitchen’ Start a Ghost Kitchen Movement?

From a fresh daypart strategy to meeting a changing customer, the Arby's owner is turning up the innovation dial.

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Virtual Dining Concepts CEO Stephanie Sollers on the Creator Economy

"It's incredibly hard to build any brand. There's so many channels, there's so many new brands out there, and it's competitive. It's getting more expensive to gain any visibility with a new audience if you don't already have brand recognition," says the VDC CEO.

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The Super Bowl of C-Stores

Anthony Magnini is playing the long game, betting big on a disruptive foodservice trend—the ghost kitchen—to take his new c-gas site to the next level.

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Franchise spotlight: Dog Haus to more than triple store count with 100-unit pipeline

The 51-unit hot dog brand is generating 10 to 20 calls from prospective franchisees each day, and expects momentum to continue well into 2024.

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Tracking the Evolution of Virtual Brands with Nextbite

The category is crowding, but so are the expectations. Nextbite’s Alex Canter will be speaking at the International Ghost Kitchen Conference in Amsterdam this March!

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Kroger welcomes Saladworks at in-store Kitchen United Mix Food Halls

The chain will offer on-the-go meals, takeout and delivery from these food halls.

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Helbiz Kitchen brings its ghost kitchen to Los Angeles

Residents in Westwood and Santa Monica can soon order food from the Helbiz Kitchen or Kitchen United Mix apps.

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Nékter Tests New Locations, Expands Food Options

Ghost Kitchens, Meal Combos; New Revenue Highs in '22 for Santa Monica company.

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Restaurants’ New Year’s resolution: Finding Gen Z’s sweet spot

Virtual brands are tapping into the Gen Z-driven creator economy, while legacy brands are also trying to attract younger consumers with growing spending power.

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Inflation forces mom and pop restaurants and big chains to lean on their unique strengths

As the restaurant industry battles inflation, the large size of chains and their access to cash gives them the upper hand, but independents have advantages of their own when managing higher costs.

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How Restaurants Can Keep Up With Billion-Dollar Brands

Taking a page from the billion-dollar playbooks, here are a few tips for cashing in inside an industry whose chips seem mostly down.

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Area‘s ghost kitchens’ prosper by appearing and disappearing

On a recent Wednesday, six food trucks circled up for a weekly “food truck rally” in San Luis Obispo, serving lunch-goers from the back lot of The Kitchen Terminal, a commercial kitchen.

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Negative online reviews have increased for restaurants

New data from Trustpilot finds that negative reviews have increased by 3% since April.

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California Ghost Kitchen Unmasked as Creator of Bootleg Dinos in the Zone

A California-based ghost kitchen company installed giant dinosaurs in a sprawling homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix and now has until December 30 to remove them. (I don’t get this, but it involves a ghost kitchen so I included it.)

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Podcast: The Future of the Virtual Table Touch With Dustin Mares

Two great guys chat: Zack Oates and Dustin Mares! Dustin also just confirmed he will be speaking at the International Ghost Kitchen Conference in Amsterdam this March!

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Podcast: The Next Evolution of Hospitality Is Here

Good interview with Jason Johnson, the founding member of HUBB Kitchens.

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Podcast: Virtual Dining Concepts and Mr. Beast Burger Come For Pizza

In addition to its convenience, Mr. Beast Burger has created an immersive virtual dining experience.

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News Segment: Pacific Coast Business Times talk-back: Ghost Kitchens prosper

This week's Pacific Coast Business Times reports on Kitchen Terminal, the company behind a new concept in shared commercial kitchens.

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EU: Dark kitchens in Europe: the top takeaways

Looking ahead, questions may arise as to whether demand for ghost kitchen space will continue to rise in the face of potential decreases in discretionary consumer spending.

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EU: BOOH! Food and Tailor Retail Makers Team Up for New Openings in ’23 and ‘24

Booh! Food and Tailor Retail Makers are reaching their agreement for the execution of the works and projects of the next 16 stores that the Malaga food delivery startup will carry out in 2023 and 2024.

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South America: Dark kitchens in Lima: there are more than 280 kitchens focused on delivery and the northern zone has growth potential

More than 100 new hidden kitchens have opened so far this year, according to a report by Binswanger Peru. The periphery of Lima generates interest to replicate these formats, while apps have begun to expand their coverage to North Lima. This is the dark kitchens market in the capital.

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MENA: Revival Lab leads $13.6 million round through United Investments partnership

United was founded in 2022 to build scalable brands that fit market opportunities and seeks to acquire more than 30 new and fast-growing F&B brands in Saudi Arabia..

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MENA: talabat and Wings Partner to Pilot Next-Gen Robotics for a First-in-the-MENA Region, Fully Automated Cloud Kitchen

The first-of-its-kind in the MENA region cloud kitchen will be fully operational in 2023, with automated transportation, storage and handling of orders throughout the process.

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MENA: Oman's cloud kitchen company KitchenomiKs raises $1.7m to boost expansion

The start-up is looking towards expanding across the GCC region by early next year and “aiming to design and build numerous high-quality food brands operating out of their highly automated hub-and-spoke cloud kitchens”.

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India: I advise all stores to learn from India: Domino's CEO

“What’s really important is that unlike other restaurants and delivery apps, Domino’s pizza is always delivered by Domino’s. Our pizza never leaves our hands until its gets to your hands. There is no middle person,” he added.

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India: BodyPower Cafe Bursts onto the Ghost Kitchen Scene in India

Six months on and they are preparing around 20,000 meals a month - not bad, but they are only just getting started.

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APAC: Mount Judi Ventures leads $2 Mn round in Bajo Foods

The Bengaluru-based firm claims to have cloud kitchens from which it serves fresh foods in four cities – Gurugram, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. The brand is also targeting expansion to around 35 cloud kitchens in the span of 12 months.

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New Zealand: The Kitchen Collective has nailed the cloud kitchen. Here’s how.

Change It Up – We meet Harrison Stott and Rob Humphrys, founders of The Kitchen Collective, the first to bring ghost kitchens to New Zealand at scale

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