August 5, 2021

Peter Cook, Publisher

Plenty of ghost kitchen and virtual restaurant news this week, though I think that the KU-Kroger announcement is the biggest.  Congratulations to both teams for this innovative partnership!  It is great to see so much activity and investment in the industry.  Keep up the great work everyone!  And feel free to share the Ghost Kitchen Digest with any co-workers, clients, or vendors whom you think would be interested.

 

And now, the news…

Issue #54

Kroger partners with Kitchen United for ghost kitchens in its grocery stores

The partnership gives the grocer another way to offer customers' freshly prepared meals, while it helps Kitchen United with its expansion plans.


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DoorDash is launching ghost kitchens to make food for restaurants

DoorDash, based in Palo Alto, California, says it will work with restaurant partners to learn how to cook their food, reproduce their recipes, recreate their supply chains, and secure the chefs, on top of providing the usual marketing and delivery.


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DoorDash’s new full-service ghost kitchen outsources staffing, operations, and supply chain

DoorDash Kitchens just opened a second commissary kitchen location and launched a ghost kitchen revenue sharing model.


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How is Thighstop Performing?

Wingstop declined to break down the financials on its new virtual concept Wednesday but said its thigh-focused brand is succeeding at helping the chain battle high wing prices.


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Wingstop plans ghost kitchens in Manhattan as company leans on digital

Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison announced that the chicken chain plans to open 25 company-owned locations in Manhattan.


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WOWorks hits gas on non-traditional unit growth

WOWorks plans to open more than 70 new restaurants by the end of the year, 61 of which will be nontraditional locations like ghost kitchens or units in airports, college campuses and grocery stores.


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Campus Foodservice Operators Hope Ghost Kitchens Help Fill Demand for Delivery

“A benefit to the program is that many of our campuses are already well equipped to implement ghost kitchens at a low cost,” according to Chartwells Higher Education CEO Lisa McEuen .


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Qu’s Streamlined POS Attracts Genghis Grill Partnership

“We think the POS has gone far beyond what it was originally created to do, and if it hasn’t, it needs to. As consumers—if you think about it—all you want is to be served food when and where we want it,” states Amir Hudda.


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Chipotle Branding Veteran William Espey Joins Fast-Growing Virtual Restaurant Company Nextbite

Award-Winning Branding Expert Espey Brings 19 Years of Developing and Growing the Chipotle Brand to Nextbite.


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Nathan's Famous now has more than 220 ghost kitchens. An exec breaks down why the chain is bucking the trend by opening them in city center locations.

The fast-food chain, which also owns the virtual brands Wings of New York and Arthur Treacher's, now has 223 ghost kitchens worldwide, it said Wednesday - and it's targeting city center locations.


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How Ghost Truck Kitchen Melded two Restaurant Industry Trends

Andrew Martino may have never owned a physical food truck, but over the past two years his company, Ghost Truck Kitchen, has launched 12 virtual food truck concepts.


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K-pop and Instagram: How This Virtual Bibimbap Restaurant Built Their Brand

Small, independent operators and entrepreneurs continue to find a home in ghost kitchens too, shifting their focus from that most fundamental barometer of success — butts in seats — to clicks on apps.


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Clouds, kitchens, landlords and food: A lesson in strategy

When a customer pays for a meal, where does most of that money go? Not to the employees. Not to the restaurant owner, who is competing with dozens of other restaurants in the near vicinity. Who, then? The answer is hidden in plain sight. The landlord!


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Ghost Kitchens: Here and Now - Virtual Brands Boom

Facilitated by production-focused ghost kitchens, concept-focused virtual brands are fast becoming the next frontier.


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WSJ: Big Apple Takes Bite Out of Food Delivery

New bills passed in New York City could curb some appeal of companies such as Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats


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Moving the kitchen to the cloud

Camile Thai Kitchen Founder, Brody Sweeney looks at the trend of restaurants using cloud or ghost kitchens to expand internationally, and the part mobile tech plays in their operation.


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Food Robots + Speedy Grocery Delivery = A Whole New Kind of Virtual Restaurant

One thing is becoming clear as all these speedy grocery delivery startups pop up, proliferate and pile on the funding: All this activity isn’t just about getting you groceries. Increasingly, it’s about getting you lunch and dinner.


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Gymnastics most popular Olympic sport for food delivery

Seventy-eight percent of American consumers will order food for delivery at least once while watching the Olympics this summer, according to a survey by Nextbite, a provider of a virtual restaurant solution.


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Dark kitchens: what do the restaurant chains do?

(I had to have this article translated, but a good article!) Dark kitchens. As a food service group, it is the fastest way to tap into new markets. What do the big restaurant brands do? Are they waiting or are they going to drop in?


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Dark Kitchens Are Just Food Trucks

There are some real considerations to make when evaluating the potential of dark kitchens as a stable source of income for parking operators. Here’s some food for thought.


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UK: Deliveroo can add up to £36,000 to the value of your home

Having a good selection of takeaway options in your local post code can add up to £36,000 to the value of your home, according to new research.


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EU: Virtual restaurant start-up completes €1.25m seed round of funding

Hosted Kitchens working on network of kitchens so small and medium-sized restaurants can rapidly expand capacity for online orders


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UAE: Limestone Lab launches strong pipeline of F&B ventures

The innovative hospitality group will offer unique and captivating experiences to Dubai.


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India: Your next meal is in the cloud

Bengaluru is witnessing a surge in delivery-only brands operating cloud kitchens, also known as dark kitchens or ghost kitchens which are relatively cost-effective and easy to scale up.


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India: Cloud kitchens are here to stay

After being dealt a heavy blow by closures of facilities at retail complexes, restaurant operators are increasingly turning to creative solutions to serve the growing delivery market.


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India: Gurgaon based cloud kitchen Parat set for expansion

With a recent opening in Manesar, the cloud kitchen soon plans to enter Delhi and cover deliveries across all the places in Delhi NCR.


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India: Here's how start-ups like Tinychef, RoboChef, others are using Artificial Intelligence to make cooking easy

They are leaving no stones unturned to use Machine Learning, Analytics, and the Internet of Things to their advantage to help cook with ease, at the touch of a button, or through a voice command.


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Malaysia: Myeongdong Topokki’s parent company invests US$1mil to grow virtual restaurant concept

Virtual restaurant company eatwhatnxt has announced that it’s raised seed funding of US$1 million from its parent company, Cravito Group.


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Indonesia: SoftBank-backed Indonesian cloud kitchen firm bags funding from BRI Ventures

Yummy Corp, an Indonesia-based cloud kitchen company backed by SoftBank, announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in an extended series B round.


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Philippines: Philippine cloud kitchen startup nets $125k from Y Combinator

MadEats, a cloud kitchen startup based in the Philippines, has secured US$125,000 in funding from the Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator Y Combinator.


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