OnTrend Concepts

November 11, 2020

Peter Cook, Editor

Ghost kitchens continue to expand all throughout the United States as the concept becomes a norm for restaurant success. Red Lobster is testing a ghost kitchen concept for the first time in Chicago. At the same time, Aloha Poke, originally a Chicago based brand, is expanding as well. Nathan’s famous has two stories this week, one of which describes their role in helping independent restaurants survive and thrive.

An immense thank you to all our veterans for your service to our country. To everyone, happy Veterans Day! We hope you enjoy the rest of your week, and we hope you enjoy all the best in your Ghost Kitchens Digest.

Issue #16

Red Lobster Opens Its First Ghost Kitchen in Downtown Chicago

Red Lobster® today announced the opening of its first ghost kitchen, located in South Loop Chicago, marking the first time Chicagoans living in the The Loop are able to enjoy America's favorite seafood restaurant delivered to their doors.

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Nathan's Has a Plan To Save Independent Restaurants

The iconic brand wants to strengthen independents through ghost kitchens, not take their spaces.

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Nathan’s Famous Launches New Chicken Wings and Waffles Virtual Concept, Wings of New York

Nathan’s Famous, Inc., the American tradition serving New York favorites for more than 100 years, announced today the launch of its new brand, Wings of New York.

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BurgerFi’s Is Witnessing a Delivery Explosion

BurgerFi’s investment in technology is continuing to pay off as the better burger brand saw an 80 percent increase in delivery sales volume and 55 percent uptick in order volume in the third quarter.

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Marco’s Pizza Bets on Delivery Technology, Automation and Ghost Kitchens

Toledo, Ohio-based fast-casual restaurant brand invests in new and up-and-coming delivery-forward technologies during the pandemic.

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FAT Brands Opens Ghost Kitchen in San Francisco

FAT Brands Inc., parent company of Fatburger, Buffalo’s Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, and six other restaurant concepts, announced the opening of a ghost kitchen, a delivery only outlet, in San Francisco.

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Aloha Poke Exploring the World of Ghosts

Chicago-based Aloha Poke will rely on ghost kitchens to introduce the brand to urban markets.

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Wow Bao's Dark Kitchen Initiative Surpasses 100 Locations in Six Months

As the restaurant industry continues to navigate this challenging time, Wow Bao is proud to announce that its groundbreaking Dark Kitchen initiative has surpassed 100 locations nationwide in only a six month time frame, an unprecedented amount for the restaurant industry.

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DoorDash Just Opened Its First Physical Location

DoorDash has partnered with Bay Area restaurant brand Burma Superstar to open a brick and mortar eatery focused on pickup and delivery orders.

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REEF Raises $1B To Go Beyond Parking Lot Hubs

REEF, a ghost kitchen provider with over 4,500 parking lot and garage locations in the U.S, has secured two deals totalling $1 billion to help it expand throughout the country.

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Picnic Announces Updates to Its Automated Pizza Assembly System

Picnic, an innovator of food production technology and Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions, announced today updates to its automated pizza assembly system.

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Wendy’s Restaurants of Canada Strike Ghost Kitchen Deal with REEF

Wendy’s Restaurants of Canada announced the brand’s move into the growing ghost kitchen space through a partnership with REEF’s Neighborhood Kitchens in Toronto.

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A DC Ghost Food Hall Gives a Glimpse of a Post-Pandemic Restaurant Future

By the third weekend of dining room closures, restaurateur Aaron Gordon was pulling 100% of sales compared to 2019 through delivery and takeout alone. That sparked the idea for Ghostline.

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Will Ghost Kitchens Define the Restaurant Industry's Future?

While investor interest booms and sales have the potential to outpace traditional models, questions linger about how much this emerging market could disrupt business in the long term.

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The Rise of Ghost Kitchens and the Impact on Contactless Delivery

A surge in contactless food delivery has supercharged the creation of ghost kitchens.

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Ghost Kitchens Are the Wave of the Future. But Is That a Good Thing?

Delivery-only restaurants, which have proliferated during the pandemic, could change the way the industry does business for years to come.

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The Four Emerging Models of Ghost Kitchens

Everybody and their brother is jumping on the ghost kitchen bandwagon. And, hilariously, they’re almost all doing some version of fried chicken or pizza.

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Michelin-Starred Chef Michael Mina Just Opened a Fried Chicken Spot in L.A.

Tokyo Hot Chicken is operating as a ghost kitchen, using Bourbon Steak’s facilities to brine, batter and fry chicken into a karaage–meets–Nashville-hot hybrid.

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The Portly Porker and Mother Cluckers join Long Island Ghost Kitchen Restaurants

Halloween may have come and gone, but the tide of new ghost kitchens continues apace. There's still a thread running through fresh arrivals to the space: Fried chicken.

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Serving Fried Chicken from Ghost Kitchens

Vincent Williams is the founder of Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken, which started in Compton and eventually relocated to Culver City. As the pandemic took hold of Los Angeles, Williams spun out the new Honey’s Kettle Drop Kitchen, a pair of ghost kitchens focused on delivery.

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