OnTrend Concepts

March 2, 2023

Peter Cook, Editor

It is here!  This Ghost Kitchen Digest is being sent to you from Amsterdam and the International Ghost Kitchen Conference!  It was great to meet so many of our attendees at our networking reception this evening and we’re really looking forward to hearing from the industry’s leading experts over the next two days.

The ghost kitchen news over the past week includes some big news from Kitopi, Rebel Foods, Kitchen United, Reef, and plenty more!

Follow OnTrend Concepts on LinkedIn to stay up to speed on the International Ghost Kitchen Conference this week (we’ll try to post regularly throughout the week).  If you are with us in Amsterdam, be sure to tag OnTrend Concepts and Pete Cook (@pete-cook) so we can share your posts too! Join our Ghost Kitchen Group on LinkedIn too.

Some huge announcements coming at the conference this week!  New CEO’s, new trade association, and more!  Stay tuned.

And now, the news…

Issue #132

Peyton Manning Set to Build on His $250M Net Worth With Massive Investment in Kitchen United

Kitchen United currently has over 200 operational kitchens in 20 different regions and has been growing in triple digits for the last 3 years. The company is now looking forward to expanding its operations in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Texas.

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Mix Food Hall takeout locations open at Kroger stores in Carmel, Fishers

“We’re always eager to bring fresh, innovative concepts to Kroger customers and associates,” Kroger Central Division President Colleen Juergensen said. “This new partnership with Kitchen United is extremely exciting because it combines the comfort of the traditional grocery store experience with the convenience of also offering a restaurant-quality meal ready for dinner that night.”

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Rumor: Reef Hires Restructuring Advisor

REEF Technology, a SoftBank-backed startup operating parking facilities and ghost kitchens, has hired restructuring advisors Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Alvarez & Marsal within the last month, according to a person familiar with the matter. The advisors were hired in part to explore a split of the parking and restaurant businesses, the person said.

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That Fancy Food Hall at Phipps Plaza Opens Soon With Celebrity-Backed Restaurant Stalls

A fancy new food hall in Atlanta features 13 restaurant stalls offering everything from sushi, burgers, and roast chicken bowls to fried chicken sandwiches, tacos, and vegan fare from some big name chefs and food influencers.

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NRA: One-third of operators predict ghost kitchens will decline. One third expect them to become more common.

Restaurant operator expectations for the future of ghost kitchens are firmly divided, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 State of the Industry Report. About one-third of operators expect these businesses to become more common, and roughly the same amount expect them to become less numerous.

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Bennigan's Monte Cristo sandwich now served at 2 Dallas-area ghost kitchens

I include this because, to be honest, this is one of my favorite sandwiches in the world.

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Ghost kitchens: The $43 billion restaurant segment designed for takeout and delivery

Task Group used news coverage and insights from the industry trade group Hospitality Technology and the National Retail Federation to explore the concept and growth of ghost kitchens in recent years.

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MENA: Kitopi Acquires AWJ Investments

The deal will enable Kitopi to bolster its presence in its home market while helping AWJ benefit from Kitopi’s smart kitchen operating system (SKOS). The group has a portfolio of more than 10 brands and over 32 outlets across the UAE and KSA. It also runs franchises in New York and London.

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MENA: Talabat UAE reports over 37% increase in orders in 2022

Talabat UAE reported having over 19,000 active restaurants on the platform in 2022 across the seven emirates. Additionally, talabat reported over 400 per cent growth in orders from 10 active talabat cloud kitchens, contributing to talabat’s solid results in 2022.

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MENA: Saudi Arabia Takes A Major Leap Into A High Tech Future

Saudi Arabia is rapidly emerging as a robust ecosystem for digital entrepreneurship, with its startup ecosystem maturing quickly and dramatically. The country focuses on developing the technology sector as part of its Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to diversify the economy away from oil dependence, create jobs, and attract high-skilled talent into the kingdom.

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India: Rebel Foods to acquire franchisee licensing rights of Wendy's to grow its restaurant model in India

Rebel Foods becomes the master franchisee in India to hyper-scale Wendy’s presence across the country through 150 traditional restaurants and Rebel Foods’ cloud kitchen.

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India: Zomato seeks higher commission from restaurants as food delivery business slows

Zomato's battle with restaurant partners is likely to intensify over the next few months as the company doubles down on achieving profitability and increasing food delivery and dining revenues.

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Asia: Filipino Coffee Brand Which Started in Cloud Kitchens Lands Celebrity Spokeswoman

Pickup Coffee recently introduced Anne Curtis as its new ambassador. With almost 19 million followers on the platform, Curtis is, unless I am mistaken, the most followed Filipino celebrity on Instagram.

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Asia: Wahyoo Reportedly Acquires Cloud Kitchen Startup Foodstory

The entire Foodstory team will be joined by Wahyoo; brands under Foodstory will belong to Wahyoo.

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Asia: TGAL, Japan Announces Exclusive Partnership with Village Food Courts for India Expansion

TGAL, the largest food tech company in Japan and one of the most recognised food conglomerates with a network of over 1400 host kitchens and over 120 brands from different regions of Japan announces an exclusive partnership with Village Food Courts (VFC), the largest F&B aggregator of National & International brands in India.

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Podcast: DeliverMore Chats with Stephanie Sollers of Virtual Dining Concepts

Just a clip from an interview with Stephanie Sollers…I assume a full episode to be released soon?

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Podcast: COHO Collective helping food entrepreneurs build a business

Nice quick overview of Canadian cloud kitchen operator.

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