October 21, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

Here it is: all the news related to ghost kitchens from this week! Some of the bigger stories are about brands like Bloomin’ Brands, Taco Bell and Dickey’s. Ghost kitchens continue to emerge rapidly, but as brick & mortar restaurants slowly begin to reopen throughout the U.S., it will be interesting to see what that will mean for the fate of virtual brands and ghost kitchens. All the experts are saying they are here for good. All those stories are here too! Be sure we’ll keep you updated.

We hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Issue #13

Bloomin’ Brands Expands Test of Virtual Tender Shack Brand

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. is expanding the test of its virtual chicken brand, Tender Shack, on the third-party DoorDash delivery platform.


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Dickey's Barbecue Opens 28 Units in Q3

Even amid a global pandemic, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is continuing to drive aggressive franchise developments nationwide with the expansion of 28 new locations in Q3, eight of which were virtual kitchens.


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Taco Bell Adds DoorDash As a Delivery Partner

Taco Bell has partnered with DoorDash to provide delivery to over 5,500 Taco Bell locations nationwide, or about 75% of its domestic locations, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.


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Wow Bao's Dark Kitchen Initiative Passes 100 Locations

Wow Bao’s dark kitchen model offers brick-and-mortar restaurants alternative sources of revenue by using their existing kitchen space to prepare Wow Bao’s menu offerings.


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Milwaukee Bucks Score with New Chicken Tender Ghost Kitchen

What the Bucks could direct was other forms of business, such as the food and beverage industry, which saw big gains in off-premises sales.


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Friendly 'Ghosts' Breathe New Life into Smokey Bones

Tripling the size of your brand's units in the course of a year -- and a pandemic-stricken year at that -- is no easy feat. But casual brand, Smokey Bones, has accomplished just that with the help of a few friendly "ghosts."


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From Virtual Brands to Delivery, How Dog Haus Solved COVID Challenges

The company created "The Absolute Brands"—a restaurant group comprised of Dog Haus and eight unique concepts.


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BurgerFi Names Former Burger King Exec Julio Ramirez CEO

Ramirez led Burger King’s field marketing across North America throughout the mid-1990s as part of Burger King’s successful “Back to Basics” campaign.


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PF Chang's Is Opening To-Go Locations in New York

The new model, which focuses on more dense urban areas and smaller footprints, will allow the chain to enter larger market spaces and reach a new customers.


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Lemonade Signs Up for CloudKitchens Space

The fast-casual concept, which operates 20 restaurants in California, is leasing space at CloudKitchens’ Long Beach hub.


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Lucky Bird Partners With Epic Kitchens to Open Ghost Kitchen

Lucky Bird, best known for its juicy Fried Chicken Buckets and sandwiches, has partnered with Epic Kitchens to open the brand's first ghost kitchen in Chicago on September 21.


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Butler Hospitality Brings Ghost Kitchen for Hotels to Chicago

Butler Hospitality is bringing its ghost kitchen for hotels, specializing in virtual room service and catering, to Chicago.


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How Ghost Kitchens Are Helping Major Restaurants Recoup Lost Revenue

Chains like Famous Dave's and Brinker International were already moving toward delivery-only concepts pre-pandemic, allowing them to more quickly deploy these concepts compared to other restaurants.


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Uber Founder Turns Real-Estate Mogul for Ghost Kitchen Startup

The former chief executive of Uber Technologies Inc. has been quietly assembling a mini real-estate empire over the past two years, acquiring closed restaurants, auto-body shops and warehouses for use in his new ghost kitchen venture.


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From Ghost Kitchens to Living Kitchens: a New Vision for Food Service’s Next Great Space

Ghost kitchens have been critical to enabling take-out meals during the current pandemic and are predicted to be central in restaurant operations moving forward. For that reason, they must become more livable.


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Four Reasons To Consider a Virtual Kitchen Now

Even before COVID-19, the food delivery industry is one of the few areas in the restaurant industry seeing growth right now.


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Robot Cooks and Virtual Kitchens: How the Restaurant Industry Looks to Technology for Help

Even before anyone had heard of the new coronavirus, restaurants were adopting new technologies to meet shifting consumer tastes, cut costs and deal with labor issues amid a highly competitive backdrop.


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Are Ghost Kitchens Temporary for Restaurants? Don't Count On It

Thanks to the limitations brought about by COVID-19, formats like ghost kitchens and virtual brands have become increasingly common ways for restaurants to connect with guests and produce new revenue streams.


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Five Ways to Make the Most of a Ghost Kitchen

More than half of U.S. operators have turned to ghost kitchens for some or all of their delivery orders, research by Technomic and the National Restaurant Association reveals. Before the pandemic, just 15% used a ghost kitchen — that is, a commercial kitchen that only makes food for delivery and/or takeout.


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Rebel Foods Bets on Robotics, A/B Testing To Scale Food Biz

Online food delivery brand Rebel Foods, which pivoted from an offline quick service restaurant (QSR) brand to a full-fledged cloud kitchen model, is betting heavily on robotics and kitchen automation to bring down dependability on the human workforce.


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Berco's Plans To Launch Three New Cloud Kitchen Brands

Berco's, which is one of the most distinguished names in Chinese and Thai food is to launch three new cloud kitchen brands.


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Coronavirus Boosts Cloud Kitchens As Foodie Asians Order In

Singapore’s Ebb & Flow Group took an unusual route to creating one of its most popular food items: analyzing more than 200,000 data points to predict customer preference and potential demand.


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Digital Innovation: Cloud Kitchen Business Model

Business model innovation describes the process in which an organization modifies and reconstructs its business model due to external factors.


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