August 26, 2021

Peter Cook, Publisher

Ghost kitchens continue its rapid growth.  An exciting time for our industry!

We were all surprised to see that the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show was cancelled next month.  FEAR NOT… the Florida Ghost Kitchen and Virtual Restaurant Seminar will take place in Tampa on October 19th!!  The event website is https://ontrendconcepts.com/florida/.

Please 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 #57

Reef Technology will hire 1,000 workers in Miami area over three years

South Florida Business Journal: The positions span "nearly every division," including business operations.


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Genghis Grill on how to pivot a build-your-own buffet-style concept during a pandemic

Genghis Grill chief brand officer Doug Willmarth discusses how their new ghost kitchen and off-premises focused strategy has helped their experience-based brand survive.


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Delta variant driving people away from restaurants, national survey indicates

Six in 10 adults have changed their restaurant-going habits as a result of the infection spike, according to a study released Tuesday by National Restaurant Association.


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BBB Warns of Fake Food Takeout Websites

The Better Business Bureau is warning of fake food website scams as takeout ordering surged amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


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David Chang’s fried chicken restaurant Fuku opening as delivery-only concept in Atlanta

Celebrity chef David Chang’s fried chicken restaurant Fuku is slated to make its Atlanta debut this week.


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Pop-up restaurants may stick around as COVID sees resurgence

Pop-up restaurants, many started as stopgap measures by struggling chefs and owners, may have staying power as consumers continue to embrace takeout and delivery and the delta variant threatens to make dining in less of an option.


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California Law Denying Basic Workers’ Rights to Food Delivery Drivers Found Unconstitutional

Denying food delivery drivers the same protections as other workers in the state is unconstitutional, a California judge ruled.


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2 Chick-fil-A restaurants in Alabama are closing early every night because of 'extremely short staffing'

Two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Decatur, northern Alabama, are closing early because they can't find enough workers.


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A 10% pay increase and 8 other stats show how crazy it is to work in fast food right now

The restaurant industry has seen some major ups and downs in the past year. Pay is up, but so are job openings and employee turnover.


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Cheat Code: You Can Now Pay Grab To Jump Queue And Prioritise Delivery Of Your Food

Grab has recently launched a new feature that is akin to a cheat code for people with extra money to burn: priority delivery.


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67 Pct Of Restaurants’ Orders Come Via Phone Or Digital Channels

Restaurants have pivoted through the past year and a half of the pandemic to embrace customers’ shifting preferences about how they want to order and receive their food. 


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Olo CEO: The Digital Restaurant Transformation is Not Just About Delivery

QR code ordering and other on-premises options are shifting dynamics.


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Major Restaurant Chains Are Competing Over Loyalty Customers. Here’s Why.

Loyalty has evolved into a digital differentiator–still providing an incentive for customers to come back and spend more, but now also making it easier for them to do so.


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QR codes have replaced restaurant menus. Industry experts say it isn't a fad

Restaurants have replaced physical menus with QR codes, a change that many in the industry believe is likely permanent.


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TGI Fridays owner targets Gen Z with investment in digital experience

Food tech platform C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) has been given a $10 million boost from TriArtisan Capital Advisors and its investors, the portfolio of which includes TGI Fridays, PF Chang’s and Hooters. 


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Restaurant staffing app launches in NH

Flipable is an app designed to instantly finds and connect job-seekers with relevant, open positions at restaurants within their desired area, while restaurant owners and hiring managers are matched with the best candidates for the job.


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Restaurant Industry Financial Security in Danger of Being Wiped Out by Delta Variant

National Restaurant Association and its state restaurant association partners sent a letter to Congressional leadership, sharing concerning new consumer confidence survey findings and urging swift replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).


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The Next Wave of Restaurant Innovation Must Take Place in the Kitchen

The ability to capture, utilize, and implement data in the kitchen is immense, yet completely underutilized.


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The restaurant industry faces disruption in the current model with a new concept — ghost kitchens

The restaurant industry is facing a restructured model with the rise of ghost kitchens. A few spirited and ambitious restaurateurs are all-in on the concept.


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Are virtual restaurant brands the new frontier for franchising?

Virtual brands have exploded in popularity, but are they franchises? Here’s a look at different models and legal considerations that could drive future development.


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Nextbite Unveils Three New Delivery-Only Breakfast Brands

Nextbite, a leader in virtual restaurants, announced three new delivery-only breakfast concepts to meet the rising demand for delivery-only breakfast items. 


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How new takeout tools and systems fueled restaurants’ off-premises boom

From new technology to revamped locations, brands tapped into customer convenience to ride the off-premises wave.


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Hyphen’s Restaurant Robotics Fend Off Delivery Giants

We may not have Jetsons-style food machines or Wallace & Gromit autochefs in our kitchens just yet, but food production automation is accelerating. 


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National Restaurant Association: 5 Ways to Woo Workers

Competition for talent is fierce; here’s how to stand out from the crowd.


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Massive ghost kitchen project announced for downtown San Antonio

A group that includes the heir apparent of Bill Miller restaurants is gearing up to bring a huge ghost kitchen facility to San Antonio by next year. 


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Red Robin banks on Donatos as long-term growth driver

Casual-dining brand sees pizza sales reaching $60M+ annually, expresses confidence in three new virtual brands.


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Wendy’s Ghost Kitchen Strategy Could Revolutionize the Modern Franchise Model

The fast food giant’s new partnership with Reef Technologies is exposing obsolete practices throughout the franchising industry.


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Why dark kitchens make more sense now

The demand for restaurant-delivered meals is one of the numerous reasons behind the mushrooming of dark kitchens.


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Restaurant Roundup: Red Robin Struggles To Take Flight

As many major restaurant chains surpassed their pre-pandemic sales in Q2, seizing on consumers’ pent-up demand for restaurant dining, Red Robin did not fare so well. 


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Chili's Parent Bets on a Second Virtual Concept

Maggiano's Italian Classics features Italian standards, with an emphasis on $10 lunch combos.


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Chili's, Maggiano's Parent Company Slows Virtual Brand Growth To Focus On Dine-In

With its newfound focus on off-premise and digital ordering, Brinker International, the parent company of Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy, is slowing its roll when it comes to growing its virtual brands.


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Global Delivery Drones Market to Reach US$ 5586.5 Million by 2028, Says Coherent Market Insights (CMI)

According to Coherent Market Insights, the global delivery drones market was valued at US$ 497.5 Mn in 2021 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 41.3% during the forecast period (2021-2028).


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Boots Seeks to Speed Up Home Delivery With Deliveroo Deal

United Kingdom: The companies have inked an exclusive partnership that will launch at 14 pilot stores and see more than 400 health and beauty products delivered on demand by Deliveroo.


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Could Boots' Deliveroo partnership lead to 'dark pharmacies'?

United Kingdom: For now, the tie-up is being described as a trial. But history suggests this dipped toe in the water could lead to big changes down the line.


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7 digital marketing strategies for cloud kitchen business owners

United Kingdom: In recent years, digital marketing has been a vital component of business promotion and advertising. There has been a significant increase in demand for online marketing.


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