OnTrend Concepts

June 24, 2021

Peter Cook, Editor

What a great conference!  It was wonderful to finally get together with 320+ industry leaders at the Ghost Kitchen Conference.  Don’t just take our word for it, in one of the articles we have included just a selection of the LinkedIn posts regarding the conference.  You can see how enthusiastic the attendees were to be there.  We look forward to seeing you all at the next one!


In the meantime, please join the conversation online, at our Ghost Kitchen Group on LinkedIn.


Plenty of news this week, so grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and dive in!


And now, the news…

Issue #48

Ghost Kitchen Forecast: Steaming HOT!

Market surveys indicate that half of enterprise brands will launch some form of ghost, host or cloud kitchen concept in 2021, and that the global cloud kitchen market size, estimated at $43.1B in 2019, is forecasted to reach $71.4B by 2027.

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Wingstop Launches a Virtual Restaurant Selling Chicken Thighs as Wing Supplies Tighten

With chicken wings in short supply and prices rising, Wingstop said Monday it is "hacking" its own brand by launching Thighstop, a virtual restaurant that will serve up crispy chicken thighs.

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Ghost Kitchen Conference Buzz

It is easy for a conference organizer to talk about how great a conference was, but it is more powerful to get testimonials from actual attendees. Check out this selection of LinkedIn posts from those attending the Ghost Kitchen Conference. It is so great to see the enthusiasm. And a bit humbling. We are so pleased that attendees found it worthwhile.

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America's Largest Barbecue Chain Is Opening 100 Unique New Locations

Dickey's Barbecue Pit leveraged pandemic woes to an advantage. Recently they introduced two new brands, Wing Boss and Big Deal Burger, that make their products under these brands available for delivery via online order.

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Combo Kitchen Partners with Barbecue Restaurant Brand Dickey's Barbecue Pit for Ghost Kitchen Expansion!

The world's largest barbecue chain, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, has partnered with Combo Kitchen to promote nationwide expansion of their brand through ghost kitchens.

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Check Out Conference Pics!

Click on the link to see 300+ pictures from The Ghost Kitchen Conference.

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Sweetgreen Files for IPO

Sweetgreen confidentially submitted a draft registration for an initial public offering with the SEC

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Snackpass Gobbles Up $70M at a $400M+ Valuation as Its Social Food Ordering Platform Crosses 500K Users

Conceived four years ago while Kevin Tan, the CEO who co-founded the company with Jamie Marshall, was still a student at Yale studying physics, Snackpass has grown by remaining true to its higher-ed roots. The startup now has 500,000 users across 13 college towns, and has seen its growth explode 7x in the last three months alone. This round values the startup at over $400 million.

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C3 Becomes Chowly’s Exclusive Virtual Restaurant Partner

C3, a food and beverage platform bringing food halls and ghost kitchens to high-profile real estate, announced a new partnership with Chowly to become its exclusive virtual restaurant partner bringing its portfolio of 40 digital brands to the point-of-sale integration company’s restaurant clients.

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Red Robin, Donatos Pizza Scale Up Non-Traditional Partnership

Following in the footsteps of BBQ Holdings, which doubled down on dual-concept locations with brands outside its corporate umbrella, Red Robin brought a slimmed-down version of the Donatos Pizza menu into its kitchens as a way to expand its delivery and dine-in offerings before the pandemic. Now, a year and a half later as dining rooms repopulate, the partnership is proving successful enough that the companies are scaling up even as Red Robin rolls out three new virtual restaurant concepts.

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Foodtech deals surge on VC 'exuberance' even as lockdowns lift

Foodtech startups took center stage during the pandemic out of necessity. They are a fixture in everyday life even as lockdowns come to a close.

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George Lopez’s Taco Restaurant Comes to DC (but you can’t go there)

George Lopez Tacos is the latest addition for Nextbite, which partners with restaurants in markets across the country for ghost kitchen concepts.

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Carnival Cruise Line Partners With Guy Fieri's Flavortown Kitchen For New Home Delivery Of Guy's Burger Joint Offerings

Fans of Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival Cruise Line can now satisfy their cravings off the ship with delivery of the chef's hand-crafted "Straight Up" burger for a limited time only.

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Foodhaul Welcomes Smokeheads to Lineup

Foodhaul is pleased to welcome James Beard Winner Chef Rick Tramonto and his virtual BBQ concept Smokeheads to their lineup.

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Smokey Bones' Digital Transformation Powers Off-Prem Pivot

Brands' tech overhaul included hardware and software upgrades, security enhancements, telecom upgrade, third-party delivery integration, and a new ecommerce platform. Barbecue brand realized a 100% ROI in six months.

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It’s All About the Food: Why Quality is Essential for Delivery-Only Success

In today’s virtual restaurant model, some hallmarks of industry success remain.

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Nextbite Turns Up the Heat With Iron Chef Winner Jeff Haskell Joining Its World-Class Culinary Team

Nextbite, a leader in virtual restaurants, today announced that Jeff Haskell, Iron Chef winner and renowned New York City chef, has joined the company as Culinary Director.

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Can Dark Kitchens Deliver for Food Manufacturers?

Covid has sped up the delivery-only, or ‘dark kitchen’, part of the foodservice sector.

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Now Cuisine Takes On Ghost Kitchens and Drone Deliveries

The robotics industry is at an inflection point where the baton is being passed from the scientists to the practitioners.

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Through Ownership, Chicago Street Vendors Find a Lifeline Via Commercial Kitchens

Now a group of longtime vendors has taken an important step toward protecting its members’ livelihoods — purchasing a commercial kitchen where they can legally prepare food and run their businesses without fear.

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As Shopping Patterns Continue to Evolve, Grocers are Investing in Ghost Kitchens

As grocers try to find ways to keep growth apace, some are looking into ghost kitchens.

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The Relationship between Dark Kitchens and QSR Kiosks

The food in Dark Kitchens is only available for delivery (food delivery), which reflects the need to implement QSR (Quick-Service Restaurants) kiosks.

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Surrey, B.C. food truck maker is building ‘ghost kitchens’ destined for parking lots — and to help restaurant owners

Apollo Custom Manufacturing of Surrey, B.C. is building ‘ghost kitchens’ to be operated on behalf of Canadian restaurants by Reef Technology, which owns Impark.

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Interview With Successful Cloud Kitchen Owners in USA

So here’s a natural question – how do you make sure that buyers will choose your cloud kitchen service and not your competitor’s? And how do you make sure that your cloud restaurant will keep growing despite so high competition, increasing food costs, and emerging problems?

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Digital Native Generations Present the Biggest Opportunity for C-stores to Leverage Digital Offerings

Younger consumers are developing strong preferences for brands that meet their needs.

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The Reality of Virtual Restaurants

Ghost kitchens gaining more visibility in Southwest Florida.

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New Book on The Digital Restaurant is about to be Released

Delivering - The Digital Restaurant explores the world of off premise food and the massive disruption facing American restaurants through first-hand accounts of restaurateurs, food industry veterans and start up entrepreneurs.

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Ghost Kitchens: Should Your Neighborhood be Afraid?

The business model for ghost kitchens is volume. The facilities need to blow through dozens of deliveries an hour to be profitable. That’s a lot of cars.

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Seattle’s New Zero-Emissions Delivery Hub is an Experiment in Slashing E-Commerce Emissions

Companies can make centralized deliveries to the hub and then use more sustainable methods to get them to your door. It’s a testing ground for experiments to improve our new delivery-based economy.

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

The Local Culinary can help you create your own ghost kitchen, add your own virtual restaurants to your existing kitchen to generate additional revenues. Don’t miss this episode. You’re going to love it!

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Podcast: The Ghost Kitchen Opportunity

Laws and regulations for Ghost Kitchens are the focus of this episode of The Main Course as host Barbara Castiglia speaks with Brett Buterick, Esq.

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Podcast: “ManU isn’t an Exotic Puma Pet” – Manchester United’s Fan Brand. Jack in the Box’s Influencer.

Jack in the Box, Uber, and a TikTok singer just created what is being called an “influencer restaurant”.

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National Environmental Health Association Hosts Ghost Kitchen Safety Webinar

NEHA's Business and Industry Affiliate is hosting a panel discussion with regulatory and industry experts to help unlock the food safety mysteries behind these innovative business models.

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Ireland: Sodexo Launches Fooditude in Dublin

Sodexo has launched its majority-owned ‘delivered-in’ workplace catering service, Fooditude, into its Dublin operations.

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UK: The Growth Of Dark (or Ghost) Kitchen Delivery

The number of dark kitchens (non-branded food production hubs for servicing takeaway orders) could increase by 30% to reach more than 1,000 in the UK within the next 12 months. And we’re in pole position with our SaaS solutions to support the raft of new dark kitchens emerging.

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Europe: The Rise of Ghost Kitchens: Order Online, Eat at Home

In this second article of our retail series we’ll have look at the meal delivery industry, which has propelled the existence of so-called ghost kitchens, or dark restaurants. These cater to people ordering online, have no seats, and often combine different types of cuisine under one roof.

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Russia: Russia's X5 Group Rolls Out Dark Kitchens in St Petersburg

Mnogo Lososya, which was recently acquired by Russia's largest retailer and e-grocer X5 Retail Group, will be launching its dark kitchen format in 20 locations in Saint Petersburg, operating under four brands (Mnogo Lososya, Ten Ideal Pizzas, Rolls No. 1, YAJI).

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Eye on the UAE’s Restaurant Scene Post Covid-19

Interesting and encouraging trends have been highlighted by the report, more specifically the rise of online ordering, cloud kitchen and the relevance of technology in the F&B space.

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Saudi Arabia: Dubai’s iKcon Raises $20M Series A to Expand its ‘Cloud-Kitchen-as-a-Service’ Platform to Saudi!

The cloud-kitchen-as-a-service startup procures (ingredients), cooks, and delivers food on behalf of restaurants and brands it partners with.

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India: Facility Maintenance: A Success Factor for Cloud Kitchens

Pivoting to cloud kitchens from restaurants does not mean that the operational challenges are lower on the other side. Given the current scenario, cloud kitchens have four major challenges to tackle for maintaining the growth momentum.

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Sri Lanka: Setting Up a Cloud Kitchen; 9 Important Tips

So, if you're someone who's planning to feed the city with your yummy food cooked in the comfort of your home, these 9 tips will definitely come in handy for you.

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Malaysia: Dine-Ins Were Never an Option for these F&B Brands. How has the Pandemic Affected Them?

Like most other concepts and models, cloud kitchens have their own pros and cons. Thus, we interviewed 4 virtual F&B brands to find out what it’s like running a business from a cloud kitchen amidst lockdowns, seeing that dine-ins were never an option.

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Taiwan: Digital Food Hall 3 SQUARE Pools Food Industry Know-Hows to Scale Up Restaurants and Increase Margins

Cloud kitchens are cooking spaces made for delivery only, shared utilities and standardized food preparation lower costs for F&B (Food and Beverage) brands, while pushing for orders to grow.

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Taiwan: Ex-Honestbee, Foodpanda Exec’s New Cloud Kitchen Startup Banks $1.2m in Seed Funding

More than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, Taiwan’s food and beverage industry continues to be pummeled as the island presses on in implementing measures to curb the virus’ spread.

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Taiwan: JustKitchen Launches Innovative Wow Chow Delivery-Only Fresh Pet Food Brand

Wow Chow is the First Fresh Pet Food Brand on the Uber Eats Platform and the JustMarket Website in Taiwan

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