OnTrend Concepts

March 10, 2021

Peter Cook, Editor

One more player has stepped into the ghost kitchen arena! Panda Express opened up their first ghost kitchen in San Francisco earlier this week. This opening is in the wake of multiple major brands developing their own ghost kitchens, including Red Robin, Applebee’s, Nathan’s Famous and many others. The pandemic is finally dissipating, and almost every restaurant brand is involved in ghost kitchens. What will this mean for the long-term life of this trending concept?

We hope your week is off to a good start! We still have spots available for The Ghost Kitchen Conference; we would love to see you there! In the meantime, enjoy your Ghost Kitchen Digest!

Issue #33

Panda Express Opens First Ghost Kitchen in San Francisco

Panda Express will open Panda Digital Kitchen, its first delivery-only location, in mid-March in San Francisco, the company said in an email to Restaurant Dive.

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Red Robin Quietly Tries a Chicken-Sandwich Concept

The Red Robin grill-and-bar chain is giving the virtual market a try with the offer of at least three delivery-only concepts, two sporting chicken products and the third offering salads, according to consumer reports proliferating on the internet.

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Applebee's Launches Ghost Kitchen Pilot in 3 Cities

Applebee's President John Cywinski said the company has launched a ghost kitchen pilot with one Los Angeles location, two locations in Philadelphia and one soon to open in Miami.

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The ‘Restaurant Renaissance’ Is Coming, and Applebee’s Will Be Ready

Dine Brands’ freshly minted CEO John Peyton has spent two months traveling the Applebee’s and IHOP trail and taking stock of things. And what he’s seen is an inflection point. “I believe we’re on the cusp of the restaurant renaissance,” he said Tuesday during a conference call.

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The Evolution of the Next Emerging Wing Chain

The origin of Wing It On! dates back to Matt Ensero’s teenage years, when he and his friends repeated the same argument each football Sunday—who’s going to get the wings?

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Nathan’s Famous Continues International Expansion in North America and Beyond

Nathan’s Famous, Inc. announces the expansion of their products to Mexico City, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The brand will also introduce its new virtual kitchen concept, Wings of New York, in all locations, with the exception of Brazil.

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Edible Debuts First First Ghost Kitchen

In addition to Edible’s steady rise in sales, the brand opened its first ghost kitchen on February 6. Located in Tucker, Georgia, the 1,700-square foot facility serves as a delivery-only location while also providing shipping in its geographic area.

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Cordia To Expand Cryptocurrency Initiatives

Cordia Corporation announced that it will expand its efforts to integrate cryptocurrency rewards into its upcoming virtual restaurants.

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Why Sam Fox Isn't Giving Up on Casual Dining

One of the industry's concept developers had made a home for himself in casual dining. But Covid-19 forced Sam Fox to reconsider the model—with encouraging results.

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Alp Franko Gives You a Ghost Kitchen and Virtual Restaurant with The Local Culinary

Action & Ambition is thrilled to chat with Alp Franko, a successful European restaurant veteran and entrepreneurial visionary.

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Cali BBQ Behind the Smoke

Touring a Friendly Ghost Kitchen at the San Diego Barrio Food Hub. There's some awesome concepts that we're here with.

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This Ghost Kitchen Boss Makes Sure Hotels Thrive in a New Era of Room Service

The hotel kitchen is the latest spot for industry disruption. Sam Feigeles plays a key role in reshaping the future of the hotel food and beverage experience.

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3 Michelin-Starred Chicago Chef Curtis Duffy Opens Ghost Kitchen Serving Burgers and Fries

Reve Burger sells double -cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, and milkshakes through delivery apps Caviar and DoorDash. The ghost kitchen's name means "dream" in French and is "Ever" spelled backwards.

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Burger Dandy Opens New Virtual Restaurant in Downtown Franklin

Fans of a classic hamburger, fries, and milkshake have a brand-new option. Created by A. Marshall Hospitality, Burger Dandy was launched as a virtual restaurant based out of the company’s Americana Taphouse on Main Street in Franklin, Tenn.

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Michael Kudrna of Frato’s Culinary Kitchen

Michael Kudrna, owner of Frato’s Culinary Kitchen in suburban Chicago, isn’t just experimenting with direct sales and virtual concepts to survive the pandemic. His team has found success with virtual brands and grassroots marketing, but Kudrna is skeptical about virtual restaurants over the long term, even as he continues experimenting with this latest restaurant industry gold rush.

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Campus Ghost Kitchens Cater to Students’ Changing Dining Habits

Taking its cue from the wider restaurant industry, the company created a ghost kitchen program to offer the flexibility to meet students’ ever-changing needs.

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Cloud Kitchens Are a ‘Global Opportunity’

Cloud kitchens will continue to play an increasingly important role in the foodservice sector, with Mark Dempsey, global consulting director at data analytics and consulting firm GlobalData, calling them “a global opportunity”.

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All About Ghost Kitchens

Ghost kitchens were already a strong trend before Covid-19 turned the world upside down. A Trend Talk webinar from Rational debates their place in the foodservice offering of the future.

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What Are Ghost Kitchens?

Also known as virtual kitchen, shadow kitchen, commissary kitchen, cloud kitchen or dark kitchens, ghost kitchens are meant to address the demand for off-premise restaurant dining. In 2018, consumers spent $10.2 billion on orders through third-party delivery platforms like UberEats and GrubHub, according to Technomic.

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Ghost Kitchens and Virtual Restaurants Accelerated by Coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has brought both ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants into the forefront of the general public over the past year, but in the restaurant industry, these concepts have been growing over the last two years.

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The Ghost Kitchen Trend? Florence Fabricant of The NY Times Explains

Why have famous folks including Maria Carey, Uber founder Travis Kalanick, and Flavortown Mayor Guy Fieri jumped on the ghost kitchen trend? Is this pandemic-era phenomenon here to stay?

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How Ghost Kitchens' Business Models Could Threaten the Future of Traditional Dine-in Restaurants

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the food industry forever and brought new trends with it. Among them are "dark kitchens" or "ghost kitchens."

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Virtual Restaurants: What Are They and How Can You Start One?

The restaurant industry is another arena that is ripe for disruption. With more customers ordering food online for delivery, virtual restaurants are becoming a popular option for both diners and entrepreneurs.

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Ghost Kitchens: The Ultimate Guide To Setting Up a Virtual Restaurant

Ghost kitchens. Cloud kitchens. Virtual restaurants. What are they, why are they so popular, and how do you start one? Here’s the ultimate guide to ghost kitchens in 2021.

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Ola Face Another Top Level Exit as Ola Foods CEO Pranay Jivrajka Resigns

Bengaluru-based ride hailing startup Ola continues to see senior level exits. On Tuesday, it was reported that Pranay Jivrajka, who was one of the founding members of the firm has quit the unicorn startup. Jivrajka was heading Ola’s cloud kitchen section, Ola Foods.

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