July 15, 2021

Peter Cook, Publisher

Virtual brands and ghost kitchens show no sign of slowing, both in the U.S. and around the globe.  The Euromonitor report (our first article) explains why there is such interest in the various concepts.

 

Be sure to send us your news (pcook@ontrendconcepts.com).  We’ll include those submissions we think would be of interest to our nearly 1000 subscribers.  Please also let us know if you wold be interested in advertising in the Ghost Kitchen Digest.

 

We have several ghost kitchen and virtual brand events in the works, so keep that in mind as you work on marketing plans and budgets for the remainder of 2021 and for 2022.  We’d love to help you get in front of the right audience!

 

And now, the news…

Issue #51

Ghost Kitchens Could be a $1T Global Market by 2030, Says Euromonitor

The firm predicts cheaper, faster and more reliable delivery could help this segment capture 50% of drive-thru service ($75 billion), 50% of takeaway foodservice ($250 billion), 35% of ready meals ($40 billion), 30% of packaged cooking ingredients ($100 billion), 25% of dine-in foodservice ($450 billion), and 15% of packaged snacks ($125 billion).


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Ghost Kitchens Scare Up Big Business

Even before the pandemic hit, ghost kitchens were popping up around the country and were shifting the dining experience as we know it. Due to pandemic guidelines, restaurants have turned into ghost kitchens nearly overnight. How are they impacting the industry and will they last even after COVID-19?


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More Money Pours into Ghost Kitchens

A look at the C3 and Kitopi investments.


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Gopuff Hiring 100 People for their Ghost Kitchen Operations

Congratulations are in order for the team at goPuff for their latest strategic move - a series of ghost kitchens to prepare and deliver fresh food.


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Gopuff Kitchen To Expand Nationwide With Virtual Cafés And Pizza

Gopuff will soon be delivering hot meals in 20+ cities across Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois, and Florida using prefabricated kitchens built for delivery.


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Grocery, Meet the Ghost Kitchen

Lines between ghost kitchens, groceries, and the like will become less defined over time.


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Claim: Travis Kalanick's Stealth $5 Billion Startup, CloudKitchens, is Uber All Over Again, Ruled by a 'Temple of Bros,' Insiders Say

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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Lessons learned from the Ghost Kitchen Conference

Many of the changes to the restaurant industry during the pandemic are expected to be permanent, according to presenters at the conference.


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Smokey Bones CEO: How We Adapted to a Brave New World

Smokey Bones was on the leading edge of the virtual restaurant movement, having launched two virtual brands—The Wing Experience and Burger Experience—in 2019.


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Portillo's to Open First Ever Pick-Up, Delivery-Only Restaurant

A new Portillo's restaurant opening in suburban Joliet will offer its classic Chicago favorites solely by pick-up or delivery.


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Cloud Kitchen Key Cost Metrics

To ensure that your restaurant inventory remains stable and costs are minimized, there are specific inventory metrics you must track to monitor the health of your business.


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Dickey’s Virtual Wing Brand Becomes a “Real” Restaurant

The chain is opening a brick-and-mortar location of Wing Boss, four months after it debuted as a delivery-only concept.


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World of Wings to Expand with Help from Jose Garces

New Orleans’ famous World of Wings (WOW) will fly the coop and head north to Philadelphia this summer as the start of a major national expansion.


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Can Ghost Kitchens Inject New Life into Mall Food Courts?

Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group have both become investors in C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), a food tech platform aiming to lease 1,000 “ghost-kitchen” locations to malls and hotels across the country by year end.


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Local Kitchens Redefines Takeout With Digital Suburban Food Halls

If Co-Founder and CEO Jon Goldsmith gets his way, Local Kitchens will soon become known as “a place your mom wants to drive by and pick-up food” within a ten minute drive of every young family living in a major metropolitan suburb.


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Canada’s Carbone Restaurant Group Raises Capital in Financing Round

The restaurant group intends to use the capital infusion to leverage technology and data for introducing disruptive changes in the restaurant industry by up-scaling its ghost kitchen brands, bricks and mortar franchises and robotics concepts.


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Acelerate Raises $14.44M Series A to Turn Existing Restaurants into Cloud Kitchens

Acelerate, a software company looking to help restaurants make the most out of their infrastructure, is today announcing the close of a $14.44 million Series A financing led by Sequoia Capital.


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Softbank-Backed REEF is Bullish on Its Ghost Kitchen Model as It Aims to Beat Out Competitors

Softbank has invested in several different ghost and virtual kitchen approaches, but they think they have a winner in REEF.


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Black-Owned Restaurants are Finding a Lifeline in Food Trucks and Ghost Kitchens

Restaurateurs who can no longer afford a traditional brick-and-mortar operation have found a lifeline in the form of food trucks, food halls and ghost kitchens.


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US Foods Appoints Executive To Oversee Tech Vision, Strategy

John Tonnison will come on board to Rosemont, Illinois-based US Foods Holding Corp. as the firm’s new executive vice president, chief information and digital officer.


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Revenue from Ghost Kitchens Could Reach $1 Trillion by the End of the Decade

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, who earned $414 million as the second-highest paid CEO in the country last year, seems to agree.


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7 Years Worth the Wait for These Capaddicts Turned Franchise Partners

Couple realizes their dream of opening Capriotti’s franchise, including being among the very first franchise partners to open inside a ghost kitchen.


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How Did Mr. Beast Open a Burger Chain?

Our interest is now drawn to how this young ‘content creator turned entrepreneur’ made it huge into the fast-food chain which already promises cut-throat competition for survival.


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Drive-Thru Restaurant Digital Disruption

We are past the stage of frenzy and now can analyze the drive-thru restaurant disruption resulting from COVID-19.


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When COVID-19 is Gone, What Will Become of Restaurant Delivery?

One of the industry's most complicated segments is in for a wild ride.


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The Impact of the Gig Economy

Article from the book Work in the Age of Data.


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Should Hotels Focus on Single Food Product Branding in Food and Beverage to Compete Against the Food Tech?

While hotels have been in survival mode, we have seen the rise of food tech-led innovation with the ability to reduce costs and offer market scalability underpinned with great products branding and extremely customer-friendly tech.


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The Evolution of Dining: Limited Capacity, Increased Challenges

Eateries with little or no outdoor dining space continued to struggle in some areas, forced to seek alternatives to serve customers.


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Managing Ordering & Delivery Touchpoints

MENU co-founders discuss digital restaurant ecosystems.


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Dark Kitchens are Established as Models for Culinary Creation

In French, the article discussed how ghost kitchens are true laboratories, useful for developing and optimizing delivery services and reaching more customers at (seemingly) reduced costs.


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Dark Kitchens : Hopes or Fears? “La cuisine pas l’usine”

Is it hard to believe that we can turn dark kitchen into a positive solution?


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Are Virtual Restaurants Different from Ghost Kitchens or Dark Kitchens?

In Polish, the article attempts to better define some of the different approaches.


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Weinswig’s Weekly: Can’t Wait for Two-Hour Grocery Delivery? How About 10 Minutes?

There is a crop of innovators, in Europe and in the US, that promise grocery delivery in as little as 10 minutes, and investors are richly funding them. A recent article in The Guardian cites a Pitchbook analysis calculating that a total of $14 billion had been invested in ultrafast-delivery firms.


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A Negative View on Ghost Kitchens

Abel Ang fears the impact of ghost kitchens on artisanal food prep.


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Ghost Kitchens: The Biggest Emerging Food Trend Of 2021

What's driving the demand for 'Ghost Kitchens'?


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A Savvy Investment in the “Next Generation of Restaurant Franchising through Ghost Kitchens”

Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson caught up with company CEO and Co-Founder Jason Chen to get shareholders and investors completely up-to-date with all things JustKitchen!


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The Virtual Future of Restaurants

What the rise of ghost kitchens and virtual brands means for restaurant owners, workers, and consumers.


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5 Ways in Which Location Intelligence is Helping Quick Service Restaurants

Location intelligence tools help QSRs offer better customer service and deliver greater efficiencies in terms of loyalty programs, promotions, and more by analyzing geographical business data.


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Podcast: Adapting Foodservice for New Customer Behavior

Mark Gray of Bottleneck Management discusses how they carefully adapted their business model to include new technology and to-go options for long term success.


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Podcast: The Virtual Future of Restaurants

Nice overview of the emergence of virtual restaurants.


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Podcast: Vegas Radio on Ghost Kitchens

Interview with VDC’s Nick Dover.


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Middle East: Funding for MENA (Middle East North Africa) Start-Ups Rises 64% to $1.2bn in First Half of 2021

Food & beverage, FinTech, and e-commerce start-ups attract record investment.


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India: Restaurant Association Plans to Launch Loyalty App to Take On Zomato, Swiggy

NRAI President Anurag Katriar said that they are looking to launch the app by August-September. “We are in the final stages of finalising details," he said.


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India: Can Zomato Deliver a Winning Recipe for Long-Term Growth or Expensive Valuation will Lose Sheen in a Highly Competitive Market?

Zomato is an Indian multinational restaurant aggregator and food delivery company founded by Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal in 2008. It has established a strong footprint across 23 countries with 131,233 active food delivery restaurants, 161,637 active delivery partners, and an average monthly food order of 10.7 million customers as of December 31, 2020.


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India: Food Delivery Giant Swiggy Elevates Phani Kishan as Co-Founder

Swiggy was co-founded by Majety, Rahul Jaimini and Nandan Reddy in 2014.


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India: Dwelling into History: This Brand Delivers Food from Pre-Independence Era

Talking to Restaurant India Vidit Rawat Founder and Owner at Pracheen, India before 1947 talks about delivering food that binds our culture, family. Maybe someone in the U.S. should do this…their big day would be people ordering pre-independence food on the 4th of July!


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India: CCI Clears SoftBank's $450-mn Investment in Swiggy

Sources say funding is an extension of Swiggy's $800-mn round in April from investors such as Falcon Edge, Goldman Sachs and others, which took the company's valuation to $5 bn from $3.6 bn.


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India: High Valuation of $8 billion Makes Zomato's Offer Less Appetizing

Competitive intensity, customer acquisition costs likely to delay profitability


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Singapore: Lendlease to Host Plant-Based Cloud Kitchen in Singapore

The “cloud kitchen” will feature dine in, takeaway and delivery options, and will be realised through a partnership with Unilever Food Solutions’ The Vegetarian Butcher – allowing the kitchen to create an entirely plant-based menu.


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Philippines: Grab PH, Kraver's Canteen Team Up to Help Restos with Cloud Kitchens

Together, Grab and Kraver's will set up GrabKitchen facilities to help restaurants and brands reach new consumers and maximize operations while lowering overhead expenses.


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Vietnam: Pizza Hut Vietnam Introduces Pizza Hut Ghost Kitchen

With this new concept, customers can easily order pizzas only by one click or through a quick phone call, delicious pizza will be delivered to your doorstep with 100% contactless delivery and 5K safety procedure guidelines complied.


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Germany: Berlin-Based SimplyDelivery Raises €10 million in Series A Funding to Expand its Operating System for Restaurants

Founded in 2014, SimplyDelivery is operating in German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, mapping all processes from order entry to meal delivery.


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Spain: Madrid City Council to Regulate “Group Kitchens” to Limit Implementations

In Spanish, the article discusses how the council will update of the urban regulations to "enhance their implantation in industrial areas and avoiding and limiting their implementation in residential".


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Latin America: The Giants of Online Food Ordering to Conquer the World

In Spanish, this covers some of the big trends in food delivery in Latin America.


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Brazil: Ghost Kitchens Spread Across São Paulo in the Pandemic

In dark kitchens, or "ghost kitchens," nothing can be bought in person. According to PROCON, consumers are running the risk of buying a "pig in a poke."


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