OnTrend Concepts

May 11, 2023

Peter Cook, Editor

Some hard-hitting news and analysis this week.  The ones which jump out at me include:



News on investments and investment opportunities are also always of interest.  It shows that while some companies are struggling or closing, other models seem to be finding their footing and growing.  Always very interesting!


If you have an interest in meeting with ghost kitchen and virtual brand industry leaders from around the world, please join us in Houston for the Ghost Kitchen Conference.  Just in the past few weeks we have confirmed attendance (or speaking slots) for industry leaders from Canada, the United Kingdom, the EU, India, Turkey, and Israel.


We hope this newsletter helps you to navigate the industry and make good decisions!  Please feel free to reach out with any of your own news, questions, or suggestions!


And now, the news…

Issue #142

Wendy’s will shut down remaining US Reef units

Wendy’s will shutter its domestic Reef Technology units this quarter, CEO Todd Penegor said during the restaurant’s Q1 2023 earnings call.

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Investment Opportunity: Foodtech Start-Up Launches Fundraising Round

The Miami-based helps restaurants, ghost kitchens, and others develop a strong digital presence on 3rd party platforms.

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HNGRY vs. Digital Restaurant Association

Independent journalist Matt Newberg pens an attack on the Digital Restaurant Association, calling it a front for CloudKitchens.

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Sweetgreen CMO poached by delivery startup Wonder

Sweetgreen CMO Daniel Shlossman is leaving the salad chain for a chief growth and marketing officer position at Wonder, a restaurant delivery service, Wonder CEO and founder Marc Lore said.

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Sweetgreen Launches Infinite Kitchen

This Naperville, IL location is “powered by automation”.

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Texas Restaurant Show is Fast Approaching and Looking Great!

Check out the latest ghost kitchen and off-premise trends and technology in Houston this July!

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Google’s new guidelines for virtual food brands and delivery-only businesses

Google has recently released new guidelines for virtual food brands and delivery-only businesses to improve their Business Profiles on Google.

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The Tantalizing Transformation Of Food Startups Amidst A Plateful Of Challenges

A decent quick look at ghost kitchens, food halls, Wonder.com, and virtual restaurants.

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Investment Opportunity: Innovative Digital Food Hall

Innovative emerging leader in the U.S. digital food hall space has opened up an investment round.

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"Our Time Kitchen" breaking down barriers for minority business owners

A Baltimore commercial kitchen, founded by two women chefs, is helping up and coming food entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running.

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This is the most underrated restaurant in Fresno, poll says. Why you can’t walk in the door.

You guessed it. The most underrated restaurant in Fresno is a ghost kitchen.

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Podcast: The Delivery Prophets Interview the Founder & CEO of The Athenian

Peter Backman talks with Tim Vasilakis about customers and their changing demands. Both of these guys spoke at the International Ghost Kitchen Conference in Amsterdam this past March.

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Video: Inside Editions Takes a Look at Ghost Kitchens

Nothing earth-shattering in this, but just shows the industry continues to get mainstream coverage. Nice job Kristen Barnett!

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EU: Gorillas cofounder raises €1.5m for virtual restaurant franchise

The company develops delivery-first food brands that are licensed out to restaurants.

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UPDATED Investment Opportunity: Leading European Ghost Kitchen Operator

Leading European ghost kitchen and virtual brand operator is looking for investors has an updated investment deck.

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UAE: Cloud kitchen brand Kitopi picks Facilio platform to centrally manage facility operations

Facilio’s Connected CaFM platform will help Kitopi centrally connect its 200 kitchens.

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UAE startups, SMEs do what they think is best - launch or expand

High interest rates, inflation costs prove no deterrent for business owners with an idea.

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Rational’s Stephan Leuschner Tours India!

Stephan gives us a time-lapse video of his trip, where he met with many ghost kitchen industry leaders.

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India: Swiggy expands its premium food delivery service Gourmet to 31 cities

“Our expansion reflects the strong demand for premium dining options and we are committed to partnering with more restaurants to provide unique and tempting offers exclusively available on our platform.”

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India: Invesco halves Swiggy valuation to $5.5 billion

As the macroeconomic environment worsens, Swiggy turns its focus on profitability.

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India: Zyngo EV Mobility raises $5 mn in pre-series A

The company caters to B2B and B2C consumers, focusing on intra-city logistics for daily transportation needs. It aggregates the demand from various e-commerce companies, SMEs, FMCG players, cloud kitchens, and other channels.

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Indonesia: UENA secures new round of funding to ramp up market expansion

Since its launch, the company has opened seven kitchen locations in Jakarta where over 300,000 portions have been served.

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Indonesian cloud kitchen startup DishServe shuts down operations amid stiff competition

The decision to close down its operations were based on three considerations, said Singhi “Initially our margins were low, and we focused on growth, we exhausted much of our runway doing that. By the time we improved our margins, the runway was already too tight,” Singhi wrote.

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Our newsletters are a collection of all the news from the previous week related to each digest topic.  The focus is on trends, deal announcements, technology, and other industry disruptors and innovations.

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