October 21, 2021

Peter Cook, Publisher

It was great seeing so many industry leaders at the Florida Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurant Seminar!  We had a great turnout and a fantastic lineup of speakers.  A special thanks to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association for their strong support of the event.  For those who were unable to attend the seminar, mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurant Conference, being held in Dallas. Texas on June 9-10, 2022.  Registration and sponsorship is now open!

Lots of interesting articles in today’s Ghost Kitchen Digest.  Grab a cup of coffee, close the office door, shut off the phone, and take a deep dive into the latest and greatest info in the industry!  You’ll be the best informed person at the water cooler!

And 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 #65

The Ghost Kitchen Industries Gathers in Tampa!

OnTrend Concepts filled the room at the Florida Ghost Kitchen & Virtual Restaurant Seminar earlier this week in Tampa.


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Wired Kitchens Closes Miami Acquisition to Further Expand its Last-Mile Delivery Platform

Wired Kitchens, an industrial scale ghost kitchen developer announced today that it completed the acquisition of a 13,000 square Miami facility for repositioning into ghost kitchens for last mile prepared food production and delivery. This follows the acquisition of a 17,000 square foot facility in Chicago in September 2021.


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C3 Raises $10M in Funding

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate growth and expand operations, and infrastructure within its digital restaurant brands, ghost kitchens, and bricks-and-mortar culinary centres.


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Epic Kitchens to Open Second Delivery-Only Location in Chicago

Epic Kitchens is expanding its Chicagoland reach to the Lakeview neighborhood and celebrating the grand opening of its second location.


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Tech Roundup: Consolidation is One Answer to the Restaurants’ Tech Challenges

Companies flush with cash are buying other providers in pursuit of an end-to-end product. Also, ResQ raised $39 million, Uber Eats closed on Drizly and more.


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Famous Dave’s CEO on Why BBQ Holdings has been on an Acquisition Spree

BBQ Holdings acquired Tahoe Joe’s, a Calif.-based, 5-unit steakhouse earlier this month, among other recent purchases.


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Franklin Junction Announces Partnership with Dickey’s Barbecue

They have a goal of 25 Host Kitchen locations serving food from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit by the end of 2021.


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Q&A with Rishi Nigam, 2021 40 Under 40 Honoree

Atlanta Business Chronicle has named our 2021 40 Under 40 honorees. The up-and-comers will be celebrated at an evening awards event Nov. 4. Here’s a Q&A with one of the honorees, Rishi Nigam, CEO and co-founder, Franklin Junction.


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Starbird Chicken CEO Named New Head of The Culinary Edge

Aaron Noveshen, founder of the San Francisco-based restaurant consulting firm The Culinary Edge, has stepped aside as CEO of that firm to oversee the expansion of The Culinary Edge's premium quick-service concept Starbird Chicken. Replacing him is former managing director Graham Humphreys.


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JustKitchen Launches Proprietary Software to Add Food Ordering Capabilities to Third Party Electronic Devices and Applications

Just Kitchen announced that it has launched the JustKitchen Operating System ("JKOS"), which is software that integrates with third party devices and applications to add food ordering capabilities for the users of those technologies.


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Chartwells Higher Education wins Outstanding Business Partner of the Year Award from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services

Notable and recent initiatives include the debut of Joy-Ful, a campaign celebrating being back together on campus, the first-ever 100% plant-based dining hall, ghost kitchens to support late night dining and contactless catering meal option initiatives.


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The On-Demand Economy Comes for Airport Dining

As travelers return to the airport, they may no longer be satisfied with the friction of walking to a food kiosk, placing their order, waiting for their food to be ready and taking the food back to their seat, especially when it means risking a seat at the gate and dragging heavy luggage there and back.


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Four Ways Ghost Kitchens Are Changing the Restaurant Industry

What impact are ghost kitchens having on the traditional bricks and mortar restaurant scene? What is the food quality like that these ventures are churning out? Is this phenomenon to be a short-lived pandemic trend, or are ghost kitchens here to stay? In this article we’ll boil down the top 4 ways that ghost kitchens are impacting the restaurant industry for good or ill.


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The Slow and Silent Rise of Dark Kitchens

Faceless kitchens cooking up takeaway meals offer a new revenue stream for delivery apps – and could hollow out the UK high street.


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The Power of Virtual Restaurant Concepts

Virtual brand concepts are quickly doing what it takes brick and mortar locations quite some time to incorporate. They are immediately tapping into the popularity of selective diets and niche international foods.


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Viewpoint: Ghost Kitchens are No Longer in Test Phase: Growing for the Future

From an experimental concept with only a few locations, ghost kitchens are expanding and serving as a lifeline for operators that continue to face varied traffic, increased costs and labor shortages.


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How One Investment Fund Manager Plans to Capitalize on the Future of Real Estate

Noyack Capital Partners sees untapped opportunity in “mobility hubs,” which connect goods, services and transportation.


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Tech Tracker: Third-Party Delivery Giants Keep Adding New Bells and Whistles

Now you can order Uber Eats more easily at airports and Grubhub at sports stadiums.


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How Software & Robots are Preparing the Food We Order

Tech in the food business has mostly been around building products for menu or restaurant discovery, or food delivery and reservation. Companies such as Rebel Foods are “disruptors,” focusing on using tech in food preparation.


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Digitally Powered QSRs Are Devouring Their Dine-In Restaurant Rivals

For full-service restaurants, the pandemic has overturned their model, leaving them at a disadvantage as restaurants look toward the post-pandemic future.


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Entrepreneur Starts Blog on His Start-Up Virtual Restaurant Journey

He’ll do 50 posts over 50 days, touching on a variety of topics.


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Podcast: Interview of Ethan Falk, Founder and CEO of Virtual Restaurant Group

He shares insights and ideas he's learned from launching 5 different virtual brands.


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Podcast: Wings Burgers & BBQ | Season 5, Vol. 2: Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants

Podcast chats with Carissa De Santis, chief information officer at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants to explore hospitality technology and what’s in the pipeline for Dickey’s Barbecue.


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UK: Neat Burger Plans to Triple in Size After Funding Round Increases Its Value to $70M

UK vegan restaurant chain Neat Burger, backed by F1 star Lewis Hamilton, has raised $7 million in a funding round led by Rajeev Misra, CEO of Softbank Investment Advisors.


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QIA Invests $ 175m In Indian Cloud Kitchen Startup – Rebel Foods

Through this investment by QIA, Rebel Foods has become the third Indian startup to achieve unicorn status this week.


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India: Increasing Prominence & Emergence of Cloud Kitchens in Post-Covid Era

A recent report by Red Seer Management Consulting highlighted that cloud kitchens are set to be a $2 billion industry in India by 2024, up from $400 million in 2019.


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Indonesia’s Appetite for Food Delivery to Grow 3x, Says Hangry CEO

Cloud kitchen firms are here to stay in Southeast Asia. After gaining an impetus as the byproduct of the Covid-19 pandemic, cloud kitchens are betting on the new normal of ordering food online.


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Pakistan: Burger King Partners with foodpanda to Expand Nationwide

Burger King has onboarded PandaKitchens, foodpanda’s cloud kitchens, with the aim to expand its reach nationwide.


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In Dubai, Virtual F&B Brands are Turning Out to be Next Big Thing after Cloud Kitchens

F&B brands turn to online-only to speed up launches and get maximum attention during the World Expo.


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UAE: The SME Story: Mohamed Al Fayed, Co-Founder and CEO of GrubTech

GrubTech is an all-in-one platform enabling the digital transformation of restaurants and cloud kitchens.


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New Zealand: Dominos Opens their First Container Store

The company believes this will be the first of many as they work to open more kitchens closer to their customers.


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Japan: The Boom of Cloud Kitchens. Will They Be the Way Forward in Japan, Post-Pandemic?

Over the last couple of years, there has been an insatiable appetite for the food delivery business. This is especially so, amongst Asia’s biggest markets. The boom in the food delivery sector fuelled the growth of cloud kitchens within the region.


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Philippines: CloudEats Partners with USAID and Philippine Business for Education to Open 500 New Jobs Across the Country

Through this program, they aim to provide work-based training to underprivileged and out-of-school Filipino youth.


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