OnTrend Concepts

February 16, 2023

Peter Cook, Editor

Before jumping into the news this week, we wanted to welcome some new sponsors for the International Ghost Kitchen Conference!  We are thrilled to have Apicbase, ECOLAB, Kitchen Hub, and the International Association of Delivery Kitchens join us as sponsors in Amsterdam!

Some of our speakers and sponsors have also let us know that they will be making some big announcements at the conference.  We’ve also announced some additional great speakers in the past week, including executives from Clone (formerly Not Do Dark), Just Eat Takeaway, Bright Kitchen, C3, Deliverect, and Grubtech!  Check out the conference website for the latest agenda and speaker lineup!

And as usual, several of our speakers are also mentioned in this week’s news articles and analysis.  Big news from various international players, and ghost kitchen leaders in India have a tough week!

And now, the news…

Issue #130

Chipotle to open farm-to-table restaurant called Farmesa

Farmesa won't have a dining room and instead will take orders for takeout or delivery. Chipotle is testing the spinoff in Santa Monica, California, in partnership with "ghost kitchen" company Kitchen United Mix.

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Krispy Kreme’s omnichannel strategy continues to pay off

Restaurants are learning to expand their boundaries and areas like e-commerce, grocery and convenience store partnerships and hubs of ghost kitchens are the future of foodservice. Ease of access and omnichannel flexibility is Krispy Kreme’s long-term goal and despite any bumps in the road from closing stores, in the long run it makes sense for a brand entering a new phase of growth.

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Denny’s kitchen remodels foreshadow menu refresh

Denny’s two virtual brands, Burger Den and Melt Down, continued to help drive off-premises sales.

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Marc Lore co-founded Jet.com and ran e-commerce at Walmart. Now he's out to prove he can make the delivery of 'fast fine' restaurant food work in NYC.

In an interview last week with Insider, Lore said by shifting to delivery or takeout from a fixed location, Wonder can scale faster. Storefronts can offer consumers up to 30 food brands for delivery from one location, while the van model was limited to two menus per van.

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HUBB Kitchens Trying to Crowdfund for Continued Growth

Targeting a nearly $500K raise after early success.

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Meredith Sandland of Empower Delivery on the Steps to Digital Maturity

Meredith Sandland, CEO of Empower Delivery, is one of those special people with a knack for creating positive change. You can read this interview, or come hear from her in person at the International Ghost Kitchen Conference in Amsterdam!

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Virtual Brands are not the Future, they are the Present

Quick LinkedIn post with some good data on virtual brands.

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Virtual Brands. Real Job.

Virtual brands company looking for Chief Operating Officer in London. Salary up to £120,000 per year.

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A Primer on TikTok for Restaurants

In late 2021, TikTok ventured into the restaurant space via virtual brands and subsequently launched delivery of fresh cooked food from its UK platform in mid 2022.

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Miami’s Culinary Nomads: Making It Big Without a Brick-and-Mortar Footprint

In Miami, amid a landscape of majestic mansion-like restaurants with ocean views and corporate-backed mainstays in downtown skyscrapers, we also have quite the scene of intimate pop-ups, ghost kitchens, and stalls at local markets making a name for themselves despite a permanent address.

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Grubhub Drops Delivery Fees for Restaurants Using Direct-Order Tool

The end of the $1.99 charge is one of three updates to Grubhub Direct. The company hinted at more to come.

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Uber Drivers Completed 2.1 Million Trips as Company Reports 'Strongest Quarter Ever'

The ride-share company, Uber, released its end-of-year revenue results revealing it surpassed all previous company-wide growth.

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Podcast: “Steal from the Best” interviews Carl Orsbourn and Meredith Sandland

They discuss the recent launch of their book Delivering the Digital Restaurant and explore the world of off-premise food and the massive disruption facing restaurants. They are savvy food industry veterans and their insight on the future of restaurants is eye-opening. Also a preview for their new forthcoming book!

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Brazil: The new digital brand & cloud kitchens cycle in foodservice

Global cloud kitchen initiatives such as the Indian brand Rebel Foods, present in 6 countries, 45 cities and 350 kitchens, followed by Kitopi, a Brand of the United Arab Emirates present in 5 countries, with 60 kitchens and 200 brands, show us that this model has the potential for maturation of Brazil.

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UK: Popeyes UK Announces Seven New Sites

The brand has also opened a further dark kitchen in Norbury to keep up with demand in South London. Rotherham will mark the brand’s first foray into drive-thru restaurants in the UK, following significant success with its in-line locations and delivery dark kitchens.

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UK: Bubble Tea Company Opens Its First Dark Kitchen

Gong Cha is opening its first dark kitchen in the UK amid plans to expand to more than 21 stores across the country this year, global CEO Paul Reynish states.

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UK meal delivery group Deliveroo to cut 9% of jobs

British meal delivery company Deliveroo said it would cut around 9% of its workforce, or 350 roles, as it struggles to become profitable in a tougher consumer environment that has caused orders to slow.

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EU: In Poland, Amic Energy Stations Will Also Serve as Ghost Kitchens

FoodBandits after a six-week pilot project at selected Amic Energy stations, is expanding its cooperation to new locations. Petrol stations will turn into a "ghost kitchen" and prepare meals.

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EU: 'The new dark kitchen is in fact not very different from the traditional shawarmatent'

Development in virtual franchising: restaurants that put online dishes on their physical menu. Interview with Rens Bekker, who will also be speaking at the International Ghost Kitchen Conference. (article needs to be translated)

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EU: Delivery Hero disappoints market with lack of GMV outlook

Delivery Hero reported a GMV of 44.6 billion euros ($47.90 billion) for 2022, below the 44.87 billion euros estimated by analysts in a company-provided poll, citing foreign currency effects and its intensified focus on profitability.

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UAE: OneRare officially launches ‘foodverse’ in UAE

The foodverse will feature various zones where users can discover celebrity chefs, food brands and virtual restaurants.

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UAE: Dubai launches food delivery robots in pilot programme

Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority and online food ordering company Talabat have joined forces to launch the food delivery robots, called talabots, in Dubai Silicon Oasis, news agency Wam reported on Wednesday.

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India: Formalities complete, Delhi Cloud Kitchen Policy to be out soon

The Cloud Kitchen Policy had been announced during last year’s Delhi budget.

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India: Swiggy to Slice Off Cloud Kitchen Infrastructure Business as Its Hears Up for IPO

Swiggy Access was launched more than half a decade ago to offer plug-and-play kitchen-as-a-service offering for restaurants to set up their own cloud kitchens.

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India: Uber ex-CEO's cloud kitchen startup shuts India business: Report

The startup, which ran around 80 cloud kitchens in India under the name of KitchenPlus, laid off its entire staff of about 40 people in the country, the report added. The company entered India in early 2020 but reportedly failed to generate sustainable revenue.

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