April 28, 2021

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

Some interesting stories have come out of this week! One up and coming name to keep an eye on is Combo Kitchen. They’re taking steps into the franchising side of ghost kitchens; there’s an interesting article covering that story below. Nextbite also announced that they may be expanding their virtual brands with Wiz Khalifa! Unique marketing shows itself again to be one of the crucial contributors to virtual brand success.

If you’re on the fence about The Ghost Kitchen Conference, now would be the time to sign up! Until the end of this week, we will be offering a free registration to the conference with every registration purchased. But this deal only lasts until the end of April. We’d love to have you join us!

Thank you for all of your support in subscribing to the newsletter! Reach out to us at [email protected] if there is more of a certain topic you’d like to hear about; or even if you’d like us to publish your company’s news! We’re here for you. Enjoy your Ghost Kitchen Digest!

Issue #40

Combo Kitchen Offers Restaurant Brands Via Ghost Kitchen Franchises

A franchising industry veteran is expanding a concept that offers restaurant brands as takeout/delivery franchises to entrepreneurs and established restaurant operators.


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Crave Collective Personalizes the Ghost Kitchen Experience

The virtual food hall extends hospitality and service through several unique touchpoints.


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Why the Next McDonald's Could Be a Virtual Brand

Shifting consumer habits have Ordermark CEO Alex Canter bullish on the company's delivery-only concepts, like HotBox by Wiz.


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Nextbite Executive Looks Toward Next Wiz Khalifa Virtual Brand

Virtual restaurant-brand creator Nextbite Brands LLC has hired Brian Furano as vice president of celebrity and brand licensing and expects to have more star-studded foodservice concepts beyond a current offering with rapper Wiz Khalifa.


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Franklin Junction Partners with Nuchas To Propel Growth

Franklin Junction, an innovative foodservice e-commerce solutions platform that matches underutilized kitchens with proven restaurant brands for incremental revenue opportunities, announced today its partnership alongside Nuchas, an American made but internationally inspired handheld food manufacturing company with up to 18 products in counting.


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BJ’s Plots Expansion of Beer Club, Virtual Slo Roast Brand

As COVID-19 capacity limits increase at its units, BJ’s Restaurants Inc. is expanding its delivery-only virtual Slo Roast brand to more locations and its Beer Club subscription program possibly to Texas and Florida, executives said Thursday.


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Nearing 100 Units, Halal Guys CEO Talks Ghost Kitchens, Real Estate

Seven years after it began franchising, The Halal Guys is closing on 100 worldwide locations as it anticipates opening 30 to 40 new units over the next five years.


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Torchy’s Tacos Opens First Ghost Kitchen, Featuring Its First Vegan Taco

Austin-based Torchy's Tacos is on an expansion tear. That includes opening its first ghost kitchen, near one of the country's largest universities.


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Nathan’s Famous, Slapfish, Introduce Surf’N Turf Collab

Nathan’s Famous, the quick-service chain that has long been known for its hot dogs, has been undergoing something of a culinary revolution in recent years, with new high-end burgers, cheesesteak subs and, recently, the first large chain with a chicken sandwich made out of thigh meat.


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How COVID Accelerated Tech Changes to the Restaurant Industry

Mighty Quinn’s BBQ co-CEO Micha Magid on how the industry is leaning into a more tech-focused future.


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Virtual Reality – the Rise of the Delivery-Only Restaurant

How delivery-only restaurant brands became a legacy of the pandemic.


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Middleby To Acquire Welbilt for $2.9B

The Middleby Corp. has agreed to acquire Welbilt, Inc. in an all-stock transaction, enhancing the Middleby commercial foodservice platform with additional products, brands and technologies, the companies announced in a press release.


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Travis Kalanick's Stealth $5 Billion Startup CloudKitchens Is Uber All Over Again, Ruled by a 'Temple of Bros'

Kalanick's talent for spotting game-changing trends has made him a key player in the food delivery business. But hundreds of employees have left his Saudi-backed startup this year, many frazzled by a hard-knock and super secretive culture.


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UAE Cloud Kitchen Kitopi To Help Kuwait-Based KLC Virtual Restaurants with GCC Expansion

Under the new deal, Kitopi will use its smart kitchen operating system with KLC to maximize the latter's kitchen efficiency and its brand and customer experience.


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3 Priorities for a Post-Pandemic Restaurant Industry

Restaurants should improve their energy optimization, save money by cutting down food waste and explore cost-effective service models like ghost kitchens, says Therma founder and CEO Manik Suri.


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Are Restaurants Becoming Non-Brick-and-Mortar Service Brands?

Covid-19 forced franchised food brands to innovate to survive, accelerating changes already in motion before the pandemic arrived just over a year ago now. One of those changes, which some already view as a seismic shift for the restaurant industry, is the inception of food brands that have no retail storefront.


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Ultimate Guide to Ghost Kitchen Franchises

Investing in a ghost kitchen franchise does not need to be a scary prospect. Ghost kitchens, also known as dark kitchens, cloud kitchens and virtual kitchens are the latest trend in the food industry thanks to changing consumer needs brought on by the pandemic.


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Hospitality Companies Can Tap New Revenues with Ghost Kitchens

Hospitality companies were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The search for new revenue sources has many of them adopting the ghost kitchen concept. These commissary kitchens have no customer-facing areas and are used for food delivery only.


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Ghost Kitchen Trend Makes Its Way to Health Care

So, what do ghost kitchens have to do with health care? Everything!


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