July 1, 2021

Peter Cook, Publisher

Plenty of news being delivered to your inbox this week!  Big investments, partnerships, and expansion announcements.  Order your favorite snack online and I bet you won’t get halfway through the Ghost Kitchen Digest before it is delivered!  Have a great 4th of July Weekend!

 

And now, the news…

Issue #49

FAT Brands acquiring GFG Brands in $442M deal

Marking the largest restaurant acquisition of 2021, FAT Brands is buying Global Franchise Group — the parent company of Round Table Pizza, Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, Marble Slab Creamery and Pretzelmaker — in a $442.5 million deal with Serruya Private Equity Inc. and Lion Capital LLP.


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Walmart goes from fries to sushi

Retailer filling old McDonald’s spaces with varying options, including ghost kitchens.


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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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Mr. Beast’s Fans React to Rumored Chocolate Bar – “I Will Buy 100 Bars When It Comes Out”

MrBeast might be known for his online burger restaurants but he has revealed that he has interest in expanding his brand in another field.


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Domino's Launches Carside Delivery 2-Minute Guarantee

Domino's is launching a new guarantee. Domino's Carside Delivery 2-Minute Guarantee is simple: order Domino's Carside Delivery online, check in when you arrive, and as soon as your order is ready, a Domino's team member will head to your car in less than two minutes or your next pizza is free. But that's not all.


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Nathan’s Famous and The Wing’s of New York Open 200th operating Ghost Kitchen

Bringing #theflavorofny to the world through our global partnerships with operators.


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Check Out Ghost Kitchen Conference Pictures!

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


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Buffalo Wild Wings expands off-premises model with new Atlanta 'Go' location

Buffalo Wild Wings will open a third fast-casual restaurant in metro Atlanta.


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Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Plans to Lure Actual Humans to His San Jose Ghost Kitchen

Now, details have expanded to include a food hall on the first floor of the building, which will add a public dining element to the collection of small commercial kitchen spaces.


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Applebee’s and IHOP Parent Plans For ‘Restaurant Renaissance’

Peyton plans to grow IHOP and Applebee’s in three ways: Same-store sales, adding new restaurants and exploring new sources of revenue, such as ghost kitchens. There are five Applebee’s ghost kitchens being launched and managed by franchisees in the U.S., for example, as well as ghost kitchens in the works in the Middle East by franchisees of both brands.


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Uber founder’s ghost kitchen startup adding second Denver site

CloudKitchens is quietly expanding its footprint in Denver.


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Donatos Launches Ghost Kitchen Partnership with REEF Kitchens

With the continued growth and popularity of the family-owned brand's famous Edge to Edge topped thin crust pizzas, Donatos is pleased to announce a new partnership with REEF Kitchens to expand its presence in Nashville beginning on June 23.


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Virtual food hall Local Kitchens raises $25M for expansion

Local Kitchens, the virtual food hall launched last year by former DoorDash employees, has raised $25 million in Series A funding, the company announced.


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Capriotti's and Wing Zone Ready to Accelerate Growth

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop and Wing Zone are continuing their nationwide expansion with an impressive second quarter which follows first quarter's signings to bring 30 new Capriotti's shops and 30 Wing Zone locations to communities across the country.


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P.F. Chang’s accelerates expansion of To Go concept

Company opens location in Texas, plans 50 by end of 2022


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Foodhaul Announces Partnership With James Beard Award Winner Chef Rick Tramonto

Tramonto and his Smokeheads virtual BBQ concept join existing Foodhaul concepts Toscana by Top Chef Fan Favorite Fabio Viviani and Three Kings Pub and Pluck'd Wings by Dirk Flanigan.


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Pepsi opens digital restaurant Pep’s Place for meals and beverage supply

Pepsi right this moment launches Pep’s Place, a digital restaurant the place shoppers can select their favourite beverage to view urged meals mixtures for ordering and supply, the corporate mentioned in a press launch.


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Local Delivery Alternatives Bite Into DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber

High fees are spurring independent restaurants to explore homegrown delivery options.


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To-Go Bag Messaging: The Key to Leveraging the Off-Premise Dining Boom

The most valuable real estate you own might not be your physical building. Instead, it just might be your to-go bag, which has a captive audience with one thing on their mind — satisfying their hunger while engaging with your brand.


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Restaurant running short of workers? Experts say brands must look within for answers

While many believe the answers to the current labor issues in the restaurant industry lie in bringing vast amounts of new workers into the restaurant sector, two restaurant workforce experts say the real solutions to the problem might just lie with the workers brands already have and how they are treated.


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How Top Restaurant Brands Are Attracting and Retaining Talent

Revenue is up, but it’s difficult to find workers that will help brands grow.


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Ghost Kitchens Take Root in Dubuque

Bennigan’s On the Fly, an offshoot of Irish-themed restaurant chain Bennigan’s, set up shop in the Holiday Inn in February. MrBeast Burger, a restaurant concept popularized by YouTuber MrBeast, took up residence in Red Robin, 2775 Northwest Arterial, in May.


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The Rise of ‘Dark Kitchens’ Calls on F&B Industry to Refocus Branding on Digital Diners

Though rising in popularity before the pandemic, “dark kitchens” which cater only to delivery, have seen a boom as more and more people are turning to digital dining.


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Ghost Kitchens Have All the Ingredients for Success

This story aired in February 2021 while the city was still under lockdown. And while the NYC is coming alive again, #ghostkitchens look like they're here to stay.


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Grocerant Foodservice Operators Leverage Robotics

Virtual restaurants, virtual kitchens, and chain restaurants are all expanding their brands footprint for less without having a ‘store front’ or paying millions to lease land or build a new building.


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How to Improve Your Restaurant’s Loyalty Program

If you want to reward repeat customers and draw in new guests, a killer restaurant loyalty program is key.


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What are ‘ghost restaurants’? That spot on your delivery app might not actually exist

Restaurants that use the strategy say it helps them show up more frequently in online search results, and increases their chances of making a sale.


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Fast-food chicken chains may see a systemic shift, as high costs force companies to finally embrace dark meat

Demand for chicken is still rising as brands compete in the chicken sandwich wars, but the meat has gotten more expensive. Experts predict a simple solution to alleviate this likely temporary problem: chains might start selling and promoting dark meat.


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Azher Rubbani: We are defined by our attitudes to a venture that has not blossomed.

On today's #HospitalityHotTip I would like to focus on our mindset experience when a project does not meet expectation. That is exactly what happened to one of the virtual food brands I launched at Chowbunch.


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In Ancient Mesopotamia there were already "Dark kitchens"

This is the case of the é-Muhaldim for this we have to place ourselves a little before the Paleobabilonic period, during the brief Sumerian Empire of your III (2150-2000.C BC), in the archaeological excavations carried out some tablets appeared that tell us about a place of difficult translation, the"é-Muhaldim"that we could identify as a central kitchen or a"Dark kitchen".


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The 'retail' sees the light in the dark: exploits the phenomenon of 'dark stores' and 'dark kitchens'

"As online shopping soars during the coronavirus pandemic, companies have rushed to perfect their storage and distribution processes, increasing demand for so-called 'dark stores,'" they explain from real estate consultancy JLL.


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What's a ghost kitchen? A food industry expert explains

Ghost kitchens are food prep operations with no waiters, no dining room and no parking lot – really, no public presence whatsoever.


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University of Idaho has high hopes for its new food service provider

One of their campus venues will include a ghost kitchen for late-night dining.


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Nationally acclaimed chefs expand into ghost kitchen market

After entering the national spotlight for their appearance on Beat Bobby Flay, chefs Rosana Rivera and Ricardo Castro returned to Tampa ready to expand their foodservice businesses into a multi-concept ghost kitchen.


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Ghost Kitchens and the Future of Real Estate

A few years ago, the term ‘ghost kitchen’ sounded like something you’d find in a scary movie. But the rapid rise of this new type of property provides some useful lessons about investing in real estate over the long term.


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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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Convenience vs. customer experience: the food delivery trade-off?

Food delivery operators, using ghost kitchens, all aspire to be different, better and special, but can they ever truly match a quality restaurant experience without compromising on convenience, and vice versa?


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Is network inadequacy haunting your ghost kitchen?

Restaurant brands have taken to ghost kitchens as a brand growth strategy like a dog to a bone, but in some cases these same brands are being bitten by network inefficiencies.


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Trend Talk session 3: Roadmap to Growth

A Ghost Kitchen is always in flux: the menus change, the clientele grows, expansion plans emerge. In the third Trend Talk, we show how to be properly positioned for growth, what to consider when it comes to kitchen equipment and how successful others are on the road.


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Tech Tracker: Toast acquires xtrachef; Wix launches mobile app as third-party delivery alternative

Today, we’re talking about acquisitions by and mergers with Toast, Restaurant365, C3 and more, as well as new robotics technology and mobile solutions.


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Tech Roundup: Is It Time to Get Used to Delivery Fee Caps?

NYC and SF are pushing to make them permanent. Also, Landed adds new tools for hiring, Nextbite hires a culinary director and Donatos gets into ghost kitchens.


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UK: This startup is reinventing dark kitchens

Dark kitchens are a mess. London-based Karma Kitchen, backed by more than £250m, is fixing a food-delivery staple.


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UK: Dark Kitchens: Flash in the Pan or Here to Stay?

Data released from CGA’s Hospitality at Home Tracker showed that delivery and takeaway sales were 273% higher in May 2021 when compared to May 2019, a huge figure that had fallen slightly from a massive 345% year-on-year increase on April’s figure. Despite the hospitality market reopening in May, takeaway and delivery sales accounted for half (49.7%) of the restaurant and pub sales despite 91% of restaurants reopening as indoor hospitality was allowed once more from the 17th May (Source: Local Data Company).


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France: Under construction, toulouse's biggest dark kitchen raises concerns

Announced at the beginning of June, the opening of the largest dark kitchen in Toulouse is already causing controversy. In the Chalets district, residents have launched a petition to demand the withdrawal of the Popafood project. The company's leaders say they are surprised by the behaviour of local residents. report.


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Italy: Helbiz Launches Helbiz Kitchen to Revolutionize Food Delivery

Largest Ghost Kitchen in the world, in the heart of Milan, offers a unique service, quality and an environmentally sustainable model


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Belgium-based Deliverect Plots North American Growth

Fresh off a recent $65 million funding round, Belgium-based Deliverect is moving into the North American hospitality market with expectations that delivery volumes still have significant growth ahead, partially fueled by the explosion of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants.


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Spain: Booh! launches a series B round to raise 10 million Euro

Malaga-based company continues to promote the concept 'Bright Kitchens', transparent delivery and take away kitchens.


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Dubai: Owner of Catch22 and Falafel F&B brands, AWJ Investments sets up a 'dark kitchen'

'DKitchen' at Dubai Silicon Oasis will service 'virtual' F&B concepts


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Dubai cloud kitchen Kitopi raises $415 mln from investors including SoftBank, Valuation Over $1B

Kitopi said other investors who participated included Abu Dhabi investment firm Chimera, Abu Dhabi state holding firm ADQ's venture capital platform DisruptAD, B.Riley, Turkey's Dogus Group, U.S. firm Next Play Capital and UK firm Nordstar.


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Dubai: Deliveroo opens its largest 'dark kitchen' in the world on Hessa Street, Dubai

The new site has 12 kitchens and is only 300 metres away from a second site in the area


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Inside Deliveroo's huge 'dark kitchen' in Dubai

Once collected from restaurants, many of our takeaways now come from huge industrial kitchens where dozens of chefs work


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Dubai-based Kitopi wants to make food delivery faster than ever

CEO and co-founder Mohamed Ballout gave CNBC's Hadley Gamble a tour of one of their smart kitchens and walked through the start-up's plans to expand beyond the Middle East.


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Startup Spotlight: Dubai-Headquartered Grubtech Wants To Be The One-Stop-Shop For Cloud Kitchens' Omnichannel Food Requirements

“We started this business having lived through the digital transformations of other sectors, mainly retail and groceries, and recognized that food was the next industry,” says co-founder and CEO Mohamed Al-Fayed.


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Kenyan foodtech startup Kune Food raises $1M pre-seed for its ready-to-eat meals service

Kune Food applies a hybrid model, combining both cloud and dark kitchen concepts. Kune Food meals are cooked and packaged in its factory and delivered directly to online, retail and corporate customers.


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Peru: Muncher Dark Kitchens entered the Peruvian market with the purchase of Rappi's dark kitchens

Gonzalo Muñoz, director of project development, and Felipe Iraizoz, commercial director, support their one-year turnover target: US$6 million.


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Latin America: Dark kitchens in Latin America: way of survival or model for the future?

In Latin America, where the pandemic seems to want to give respite, many opted for online restaurants and have been successful.


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Latin America: A growing business model

Thus, given the intermittency to its operations, the restaurant sector saw home deliveries as an alternative to the fall in its revenues. However, many of them did not have previous strategies to help contain this demand and in this way dark kitchens, which were already gaining popularity in London, England, began to gain ground in Mexico.


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17 Of The Best Cloud Kitchens In India That You Must Try

We include this article not so much for the “ratings”, but just so you can see a list of Indian cloud kitchens and what they are doing.


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Philippines: Cloud kitchens get boost from Grab Philippines, Kraver’s Canteen partnership

Grab Philippines, the leading everyday superapp, is collaborating with cloud-kitchen operator Kraver’s Canteen to set up GrabKitchen facilities to help restaurants and brands reach new consumers and maximize operations while lowering overhead expenses.


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Taiwan: Ex-Honestbee, Foodpanda exec’s new cloud kitchen startup banks $1.2m in seed funding

Victor Chow, a past executive at food delivery platforms Honestbee and Foodpanda, believes that this recovery can also be found in the clouds. With his new startup, 3 Square, Chow looks to help F&B operators by providing local businesses with cloud kitchen solutions, including digital food hall networks.


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