OnTrend Concepts

May 5, 2021

Peter Cook, Editor

It’s amazing to see who is coming up with ghost kitchen concepts these days! The Milwaukee Bucks created Cream City Cluckery late last year, Walmart recently began working with Ghost Kitchen Brands to add ghost kitchens to their stores, and now Pepsi Co. has a ghost kitchen called Pep’s Place! It makes you wonder who else is considering taking advantage of this explosive new trend…

We are really pleased with the way The Ghost Kitchen Conference is shaping up! Please click on the banner below for more info.

Finally, keep up the good work this week! It’s an awesome industry we work in filled with incredible people. Please, enjoy the digest, and let us know if there is anything we can do to make it better for you. Have a good day!

Issue #41

PepsiCo Debuts Fast-Beverage Restaurant Pep’s Place

Consumers looking for a quick bite can now order through PepsiCo’s ghost kitchen—but they’ll have to choose their drink first.

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Saladworks Sees Path to 'Hundreds' More Locations Inside Grocery Stores

Fast-casual chain Saladworks aims to open “hundreds” of locations inside grocery stores over the next few years, said Kelly Roddy, CEO of parent company WOWorks, in an interview.

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Dog Haus Entering Oakland with Ghost Kitchen

In East Bay, California, the "dog days" of summer are coming Monday when Dog Haus makes its Oakland debut at the local CloudKitchens facility. The pickup or delivery go-to for gourmet hot dogs, sausages, fried chicken, and plant-based sausage proteins from Beyond Meat and burger proteins from Impossible Foods.

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Wow Bao Partners with Ghost Kitchen Brands on 100 New Locations

Wow Bao is bringing its signature bao, bowls and potstickers to 100 new locations across the U.S. and Canada starting in May, thanks to an agreement with segment leader, Ghost Kitchen Brands.

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Ghost Kitchen Brands Interview: Multi-Brand Restaurant Meals in Walmart

[Video] - Ghost Kitchen Brands freshly prepares well known food brands in one kitchen and location, optimized for online delivery and pick up

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It’s Just Wings, and That’s Perfectly Fine

The popularity of an online-only brand made in Chili’s restaurants with a singular focus illustrates how delivery apps are reshaping the industry.

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Chili's, Lifted by Its Virtual Wing Concept, Sees Sales Turn Positive

Easing dine-in restrictions and It's Just Wings have the casual-dining chain outdoing 2019 results.

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Chili's Virtual Wings Concept Entering a New Growth Phase

In the past year, the market has been flooded with virtual concepts, many of them in the wing category. The competition has certainly elevated since Chili’s parent Brinker International launched It’s Just Wings in June 2020.

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Smokey Bones Opens New Ghost Kitchen in Columbus

Smokey Bones has opened a 200-square-foot ghost kitchen at 1282 Essex Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. The new location – Smokey Bones’ fourth in the Columbus area – features a limited menu of the same delicious barbecue the restaurant is famous for.

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As Dining Returns, Restaurants Rethink Ghost Kitchen Strategy

As many restaurant businesses are just starting to get into ghost kitchens — virtual restaurant brands that fulfill digital orders without a consumer-facing physical presence — C3 is doing the converse, parlaying its ghost kitchen success into brick-and-mortar locations, calling attention to the question of what role ghost kitchens will play in the restaurant industry’s post-pandemic future.

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Krispy Rice Ghost Kitchens Build Following With Joy-Centric Messaging

The ghost kitchen space has grown enormously since the start of the pandemic, as restaurants' physical locations became far less important to contagion-conscious consumers than their ability to fulfill off-premises orders safely and competently.

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Noodles & Company Sees Early Progress Toward Major Growth Objectives

CEO Dave Boennighausen believes Noodles & Company is uniquely positioned to be a clear winner in the post-COVID environment.

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Ghostline Is Losing Its Ghost Kitchen—and Hopes You’ll Stick Around and Eat

The once-virtual mini-food hall in Glover Park will now be known as Social Beast.

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Modern Restaurant Concepts Tested Ghost Kitchens but Won't Pursue Them

CEO Rob McColgan, who founded the fast casual and heads parent company Modern Restaurant Concepts, said driving diner awareness in trade areas without physical locations was too challenging.

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BurgerFi on Cusp of True Growth Potential

If the COVID-19 pandemic was a test of how well restaurants can adapt to chaos, BurgerFi passed with flying colors.

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Paytronix Announces Integration with Google to Enable Ordering on Google Search and Maps

Paytronix Systems, Inc., the most advanced digital guest experience platform, today announced that it is making it easier for consumers to order food directly through Google Search and Google Maps.

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The Local Culinary Is Effective at Channeling the Demand for Home-Delivery Meals to Their Respective Franchisee Kitchens

The Local Culinary is the first virtual restaurant franchise in the USA, with a business model that helps brick-and-mortar restaurants and Ghost Kitchens take a share of the food delivery pie without taking unnecessary risks.

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CloudKitchens Inches Closer Towards Becoming Its Own Marketplace

As it sprints towards becoming the dominant vertically-integrated delivery player, CloudKitchens has been testing out its own direct ordering channels in 35 of its international markets.

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Anatomy of a Digital Restaurant

When Taster, a virtual restaurant company headquartered in London, announced its $37 million fundraise last week, co-founder and CEO Anton Soulier made clear that his company is trying to “redefine what it means to be a restaurant group in the 21st century.”

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Celebrities Are Reinventing the Restaurant Business with Instagram, Ghost Kitchens, and FOMO

Why we’re seeing the rise of the star- and digital-powered virtual restaurant, starring MrBeast, Mariah Carey, B.J. Novak, and more.

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Mr. Beast, YouTube Star, Wants To Take Over the Business World

To be more like Elon, Mr. Donaldson has been busy using his brand to make inroads in the business and tech worlds. He has launched a mobile gaming app and a “ghost kitchen” chain, MrBeast Burger, which has sold more than one million burgers.

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Is the Virtual Restaurant Market Here To Stay?

As casual restaurants see the first glimpses of post-pandemic life, it’s time to take a hard look at how the massive adoption of virtual restaurants will continue.

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The Secret Behind Your Takeout

Ghost kitchens operate out of warehouses, lofts, trucks and trailers. They don’t have dining rooms, tables or servers. And they’re keeping the restaurant industry afloat.

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JustKitchen Acquires Virtual Branding Rights to the Life Kitchen and Hot Pot Festival Taiwanese Food Brands

Just Kitchen Holdings Corp., an operator of ghost kitchens specializing in the development of delivery-only food brands for customers, is pleased to announce that it has recently acquired the virtual branding rights to the Life Kitchen and Kai Guo Ji, which translates as Hot Pot Festival, as third-party Taiwanese food brands.

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