OnTrend Concepts

March 30, 2023

Peter Cook, Editor

Don’t skip this week’s Ghost Kitchen Digest!  Big news from Uber Eats, Virtual Dining Concepts, Meituan, Grubhub, Just Eat Takeaway, and more.  Some great analysis too.  Pay attention to the international news towards the end of the Digest too.  The innovation and scale happening in Asia is impressive.


We’re happy to announce that Ecolab has joined Kitchen United as Platinum Sponsors for the 3rd Annual Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurants Conference!  We’re just getting started on the agenda for the conference, so please feel free to suggest speakers and topics.  And let us know if you would like to learn about our creative sponsorship opportunities!


Send us your press releases and announcements to make sure your company news is shared with the industry!  And let us know if you would like to learn about advertising opportunities in the Ghost Kitchen Digest!


And now, the news…

Issue #136

Uber Eats is starting to crack down on redundant and poorly rated virtual brands

Uber Eats announced a virtual restaurant certification program with VDC and Nextbite, and will begin removing poorly rated virtual brands from the app.

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One Industry Leader’s Take on Uber Eat’s Action

Nabeel from Lunchbox provides his feedback.

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Uber Eats will deliver concessions to seats at Yankee Stadium

While we’re talking about Uber Eats, they landed a nice deal at Yankee Stadium!

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Grubhub and Transact Campus Expand Partnership with First-of-Its-Kind Integrated Mobile Ordering Solution

Students on Transact-enabled campuses can order from off-campus restaurants through the Grubhub Marketplace using their campus card.

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Reef closes more ghost kitchens as it shifts focus to tech

The company is operating fewer delivery-only food trailers and instead working to license the technology behind them.

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Momentum Labs Closes Series A Funding Round

Company has developed patented solution to maintain food temperature and quality for delivery.

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GoodBytz Unveils Modular Robotic Kitchen That Can Make up to Three Thousand Meals Per Day

GoodBytz, a robotic kitchen startup based in Germany, debuted its new kitchen robot last week in its hometown of Hamburg at the INTERNORGA 2023 trade fair.

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Ghost Kitchens: Emerging Opportunities and Increasing Convergence with traditional hospitality

Potential for ghost kitchens is evidenced in the rapid expansion of online delivery, with boundless opportunities for growth, diversification and innovative collaboration.

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Breakfast eateries embrace delivery, technology

Chains have adapted front- and back-of-house operations to accommodate more off-premise sales and technology to improve the dine-in experience.

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Restaurants keep portability in mind for new menu items

Wendy’s introduces Grilled Chicken Ranch Wrap for spring as KFC and Mod Pizza provide portable offerings.

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How to Improve Your Restaurant’s Post-Purchase Experience

Deliverect provides some great insights on customer retention.

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Interesting Discussion on LinkedIn Prompted by Ghost Kitchen Article

Sara Nohe’s comments on an Expedite article provided some great commentary and posts.

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Alameda, CA passes permanent delivery fee cap even as Uber Eats threatens exit

"If we are subject to the sweeping price controls in this ordinance, we may be left with no choice but to limit service to the Alameda business community—which will result in fewer customers, orders for merchants and earnings opportunities for delivery people” stated an Uber Eats spokesman.

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Podcast: NRN editors discuss menu innovation, Texas Roadhouse’s brand value, and ghost kitchens

From chicken nuggets to breakfast tacos, chains across the country are rolling out new menu items at rapid speed. Which will be here to stay, and which will be short-lived?

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Podcast: The Delivering More Podcast has a Great Interview with Wow Bao’s Geoff Alexander

Enjoy this podcast with Geoff Alexander, discussing his background, the industry, and Wow Bao’s impressive growth.

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Hugo to terminate operations in Jamaica

Hugo operates in more than 40 cities across six countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

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UK: Just Eat to move entirely to self-employed 'gig worker' model in Britain

Just Eat Takeaway.com, Europe's largest food online ordering and delivery service, said on Tuesday it will reorganise in Britain, ending a service by which it employs its own couriers, a decision that will impact the jobs of around 1,870 workers.

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UK: How we became hooked on takeaways

Britain has a taste for take-out; a 2022 survey found one in five of us order a delivery at least once a month, while 11 per cent get one daily.

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EU: Amsterdam’s Just Eat Takeaway.com to file for deregistration from SEC in the US

The company’s primary reasons for deregistration include the inadequate trading volumes of its securities in the US along with the considerable expenses associated with staying registered under the Exchange Act.

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EU: Deliveroo riders are employees, Dutch Supreme Court rules

Deliveroo, which pulled out of the Netherlands last year, had argued the riders were independent contractors because they could pick their own hours and refuse deliveries if they did not want to do them.

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India: Cloud kitchens change flavours as pandemic-driven sheen fades away

Nice overview of the state of the industry in India, complete with a few nice graphs.

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India: More Information on this Women’s Collective Initiative

More than 1500 women have come together in this Indian initiative.

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India: Dessert startup Scuzo aims to open 100 outlets across India by 2024

Seeing the growth in the category, it hopes to become the top company in the dessert segment.

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India: Slow Delivery

Experts say cloud kitchen industry is undergoing a course correction after the pandemic-induced, artificially inflated supply in 2020 and 2021. Dine-in players, which switched to cloud kitchens, are going back to being restaurants that also deliver. Meanwhile, internet-only brands are busy developing brick-and-mortar eateries.

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Philippines: MrBeast Burger Takes the Philippines by Storm, Sells Out Immediately At Launch

Patrons may have to be patient as MrBeast Burger food has been selling out since its launch in the country on March 21, as announced through JustKitchen Philippines' social media channels.

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China: Meituan sees 21.4% bump in Q4 revenue amid local movement curbs

Meituan’s local commerce arm includes its food delivery and non-food delivery services. Operating profit from the segment sat at US$4.29 billion, a 56.8% jump year over year.

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China: Meituan partners with Pony.ai to accelerate autonomous food delivery

The two companies expect that by the end of 2024, at least 10,000 delivery robots will travel on busy urban roads in Chinese first-tier cities.

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