January 6, 2021

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

If this first week is any indication of how 2021 will look, ghost kitchens will continue to dominate the restaurant space. There has been a lot of activity in ghost kitchens right out of the gate! A handful of big news was released, including Wow Bao’s expanding partnership with Franklin Junction and Capriotti’s acquisition of Wing Zone. Muscle Maker also continues to spread their ghost kitchens as rapidly as ever. The articles from this week are stellar as well. One interesting interview, “From Bricks to Clicks”, describes the not-often-talked-about dimension of operating a ghost kitchen.

We hope everyone’s 2021 is off to an optimistic start! We’re looking forward to seeing what this year has in store. Enjoy the rest of your week, and enjoy your Ghost Kitchen Digest!

Issue #24

Wow Bao To Add 100 Locations Via Partnership with Franklin Junction

The Asian fast casual will bring its menu to Franklin’s network of host kitchens for delivery only.


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Crave Hospitality Raises Funds for Its Ghost Kitchen Facility

US-based Crave Hospitality Group that provides kitchen spaces to independent restaurant brands and offers tenants marketing, delivery software and ordering, raised US$ 7.3 million in a seed funding round on 28 December 2020.


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Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Acquires Wing Zone, Creating $150 Million Company

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop has acquired Wing Zone, the fast-casual sandwich chain based in Las Vegas said Monday.


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Muscle Maker Opens First Ghost Kitchen Location in Philadelphia

Muscle Maker announced the opening of its first ghost kitchen location in the Fairmount neighborhood of the city of Philadelphia. The company will open its second location in the Girard neighborhood later this week.


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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Bets Ghost Kitchens Are Here To Stay

Three Delivery-Only Sites Open as Fast-Casual Chain Embraces Nontraditional Franchise Model.


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Struck by the Pandemic, These 2 Restaurant Brands Joined Forces To Fight Back

As the pandemic took ever bigger bites out of their revenue, Cedeno and Magid found themselves not just talking, but strategizing. Eventually, the brainstorming led to an unusual solution.


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How 12 Restaurants Upped Their Off-Premises Game

A quick view of what’s happening with delivery, curbside pickup and any other variation of off-premises an operator can imagine.


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Virtual Restaurant Major Rebel Foods Reveals Plan To Enter Saudi Market

Food company's Saudi plans coincides with its drive to cover the entire UAE market.


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How Is Rebel Foods Transforming the Food Business with AI

Built on a belief that food is an amalgamation of art and science, technology is the main ingredient at Rebel Foods, a leader in India’s cloud kitchen restaurants.


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Worth Watching in 2021: The Rise of Cloud Kitchens

These shared kitchens - which mainly cater for food delivery and do not have a physical shop front - provided a lifeline for F&B businesses that could not operate during 2020's circuit breaker period, and gave industry players a chance to test out new concepts.


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'Ghost Kitchens' Give Struggling Restaurants a Lifeline

Podcast - Michael Montagano, CEO at Kitchen United, on the “ghost kitchen” business model that offers restaurants a capital-lite structure to prepare food for take-out/delivery only.


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6 Restaurant Trends That Will Shape 2021

Managing virtual brands and stabilizing labor forces could be challenging in the new year, but curbside, drive-thru and ghost kitchens hold strong growth potential, analysts say.


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An Emerging Hybrid Restaurant Solution for Challenging Times

When you consider transitioning into the food truck business, one of your first questions is probably, “what do I do with my existing restaurant?” The good news is that your current space can help you launch your food truck business. You can leverage the power of the ghost kitchen.


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From Bricks to Clicks – What To Think About When Building a Ghost Kitchen

Some of the most important considerations aren’t the exciting tech components or the fun of thinking up pithy names for menu items.


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Why Cloud or Ghost Kitchens Might Be Good News for Real Estate Investors

Commercial real estate investors have a lot of reasons to be hungry for ghost kitchens. Here are just a few.


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2020 Restaurant Trend Report

COVID-19 expedited the rise of ghost kitchens, virtual restaurants and pop-ups as a low-risk way to test new concepts and locations.


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Nothing Spooky About Ghost Kitchens

Once feared as the downfall of restaurants, ghost kitchens might just end up saving them.


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2020 Will Also Be Remembered As the Year of Chicken and Pizza

If 2020 proved anything, it’s that Americans simply can’t get enough hot chicken and pizza and pandemic lockdowns only strengthen the country’s demand for the two delivery staples.


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Will 2021 Be a Big Year for Food Robots? (Yes!)

I still don’t think food robots will be mainstream in 2021, there are bigger issues around production, scaling and regulation that will prevent that, but I do think a wave of regional and national retail and restaurant brands installing new automated food services.


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Restaurants Focus on the Future of Takeout

The new year brings another new version of the so-called new normal.


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How 2020 Became the Year of the Ghost Kitchen in Las Vegas

Big-name chefs, celebrities, and more now offer delivery and takeout only options.


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D.C. Restaurant Experts Hope These Pandemic-Era Innovations Stick After the Pandemic Ends

More takeout options, sidewalk patios, ghost kitchens, and QR code menus are here to stay.


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WakuWaku Owner Naomi Mikami on What It's Like To Shift to a 'Ghost Kitchen' Model

Some are finding onsite dining no longer work for their business. That's been the case with WakuWaku Japanese Eatery, which switched to a takeout-only model, with ordering online and pickup at various locations.


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ChefStable Kitchen Collective Brings Portland New ‘Virtual Food Hall’

ChefStable Catering has been transformed into ChefStable Kitchen Collective, Portland’s first “virtual food hall” with six different menus prepared in the same space and available for delivery on the same ticket.


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Pret A Manger and Cuisine Solutions Launch a Sous Vide Ghost Kitchen in NYC

Cuisine Solutions, which manufactures and distributes sous vide food products, announced this week via an email that it has teamed up with cafe chain Pret A Manger to open what it’s calling a “dark assembly kitchen” (DAK) in New York City.


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Good as Burgers Enters Vegan Fast-Food Market Using a Ghost Kitchen

Cornoy Watkins earns a living as a music producer. He’s worked with artists like TLC, Lil Wayne, Bun B and Tory Lanez, but the pandemic put a pause on gigs like those. That’s when Watkins embraced his inner entrepreneur and got in on the ghost kitchen act.


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