September 9, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

This week was another great week for ghost kitchens as Burger King announced their new mobile-focused restaurant and Bloomin’ Brands debuted Tender Shack. Among middle-sized and smaller companies, there are some other great ideas taking off! Consider taking a look at the developments being made by El Pollo Loco. All the other stories here are top-notch.

One article to take look at is “‘Ghost Kitchens’ and ‘Virtual Brands’: What’s the Difference?”. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing James O’Reilly from Smokey Bones who provided some great insights into the advantages of ghost kitchens and virtual brands. We hope you enjoy it!

Please subscribe and share the digest! And as always, let us know what we can do to serve you better.

Issue #7

Burger King To Build Mobile-Focused Restaurant Model in 2021

Burger King unveiled two new restaurant designs on Thursday that will have dedicated mobile order and curbside pickup areas, drive-in and walk-up order areas, enhanced drive-thrus, exterior dining space and sustainable design elements, according to a press release.


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Outback Steakhouse Parent Bloomin’ Brands Debuts Virtual Tender Shack Brand on DoorDash

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. is joining the ranks of casual-dining concepts that offer a virtual chicken brand, debuting Tender Shack exclusively on the third-party DoorDash delivery platform.


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Domino's Was Ahead of the Curve on 'Ghost Kitchens' and It Continues To Pay Off

For decades, Domino's Pizza has been synonymous with pizza delivery, and its business model is perfectly positioned for pandemic prosperity.


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“Ghost Kitchens” and “Virtual Brands”: What’s the Difference?

In an interview OnTrend Concepts held with CEO of Smokey Bones, James O'Reilly, we were able to clarify the key distinctions between “ghost kitchens” and “virtual brands” and learn a bit more about the unique advantages of each.


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El Pollo Loco’s Digital Playbook: High-Tech Curbside Pickup, Ghost Kitchens

The brand’s revamped app includes a new best in class rewards system; later this month, one-touch curbside pickup rolls out a year ahead of schedule as the chain eyes new off-premise solutions including the virtual kitchen space.


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Famous Dave's Pairs Up with a Texas T-Bone

The parent of the Famous Dave’s barbecue chain is testing yet another development option by allowing a franchisee to incorporate elements of a Famous Dave’s into a Texas T-Bone Steakhouse.


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After 'Sucker Punch' from Coronavirus, Breakfast Concept First Watch Leans into Off-Premise

The pandemic halted the fast-growing brand's momentum, but CEO Chris Tomasso said quick pivots into online ordering and creating hospitable, socially distant dining rooms helped it recover.


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New 'Virtual Restaurant' Offers Chicken Wings and Deep-Fried Oreos for Delivery Only

Brinker International has been rolling out a new “virtual kitchen” in its restaurants this summer.


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Saving the Restaurant Industry with the World's First Ghost Kitchen Franchise

Combo Kitchen, headquartered in Miami, FL, has announced an aggressive national expansion campaign of its ghost kitchen model.


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New York Restaurant Group Launches Second of Five New Ghost Kitchen Concepts in Dallas

The company’s first concept, Meatball Kitchen, which started in March, and the new Sweetbasil Thai Kitchen are headquartered in a central commissary kitchen in Garland, in one of Revolving Kitchen’s 25 commercial cloud kitchens available for rent.


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New Jersey Virtual Restaurant Takes Supermarket Sampling to New Level

For Ghost Truck Kitchen — which is actually not a truck but a virtual restaurant brand — the issue was meeting a demand for plant-based entrees in and around Jersey City.


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Pret A Manger Shifts to Dinner Deliveries and Out-of-Town Shops

Pret A Manger is to deliver dinners to city dwellers and open more suburban branches as it fights to revive its business after the sudden loss of its traditional office worker clientele.


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The Lucky Belly Group's Got a New Delivery-Only Ghost Kitchen Called Pink Elephant

The new ghost kitchen Pink Elephant, serving vegan Thai food on a delivery-only basis in Montreal, follows a steadily growing trend in the dining world.


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Cloud-Kitchen Player Smart Chef Partners with Franchise India To Expand Via Franchising

With COVID-19 outbreak, the cloud-kitchen and delivery business has seen a boom in the country. Not only top restaurant majors have entered the segment but also many new players ventured into the cloud-kitchen market witnessing a surge in the category.


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The New Reality for F&B: Pop-ups, Drive-Throughs & Ghost Kitchens

In response to the abrupt loss of dine-in guests, the more fortunate F&B businesses have succeeded in demonstrating agility and resilience. A heavier reliance upon delivery services is but one approach.


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Why Cloud Kitchen Is the Future of the Food Industry

Chief among the advantages a cloud kitchen model provides is a low rent to revenue ratio. Characteristically, these kitchens are based in non-premium locations that do not command a high rental.


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The Ghost Kitchen Phenomenon … Is It Right for You?

Ghost kitchens. Dark kitchens. Cloud kitchens. Virtual restaurants. No matter what you call them, they’re a hot topic for off-premise dining, and recently, they’ve gained more attention.


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