With the current situation we all face, COVID-19, there has been a surge in the amount of delivery orders due to dining in, not being an option. As a result of that, there have been a number of new restaurants, more specifically celebrity restaurants, appearing with an interesting pattern. Their addresses being shared by some food chains that do currently still exist and have been going about business as usual. However, it seems that the model may have adapted as much as the patrons have had to over the past year.
The address pattern has been observed with a number of new celebrity restaurants, Mariah’s Cookies, Tyga Bites, Mr. Beast Burger, and even Paulie D’s Italian Subs. These have been massive hits and gained a considerable amount of social media attention. There is one that plans on staying and even more surprisingly expanding itself, despite only being open for two months, Mr. Beast Burger. This business opened with a jaw dropping number of locations, 300, on its first day of business. But how would that be possible for a brand new chain that nobody had ever tried until opening day? This is where the concept of ghost kitchens comes into play.
These celebrity restaurants are all online based and can be ordered from exclusively on delivery apps like DoorDash or Grubhub. However, none of these have physical buildings of their own with their names on them. Which elicits the question, how are they running? Simply put, they are not doing business in their own kitchens and locations, but out of someone else’s. This is possible by using a ghost kitchen. Despite the name suggesting that it would be a haunted kitchen, it actually is not. A ghost kitchen is another preexisting restaurant that charges a fee to prepare food for an online only brand.
Ghost kitchens are useful for both the online brand and the restaurant they are paying to do business out of at a time like this. Restaurants nowadays are ready to pump out food, however with dine in no longer being an option, their staff is left with not much to do. As for any business this would be a problem and it has been with many restaurants, causing many to close its door for good during the pandemic. Ghost kitchens allow restaurants to operate like they would on a normal day, but not with their own menu. This allows the restaurant, the online brand and the delivery app to continue to make money too. All of this is made possible by the website VirtualDiningConcepts.com.
The website is advertised to restaurant owners wanting to earn money by doing what they already have been, cooking, but for virtual brands with a minimum 30% cut of the sales they make for that business. They also provide names of these ghost restaurants that they have already established including, but not limited to Mariah’s Cookies, Tyga Bites, and Mr. Beast Burger. The website says that they could get the business running within 30 days.
This website has been around a long time and has multiple pre existing brands it is affiliated with that are not celebrity owned. For example it is the parent company of Wing Squad, a beloved online only wing place, that has been in business for 30 years now.
Are these ghost kitchen’s the future though? Well, yes and no. Yes, because new attention has been brought to the website by the emergence of these celebrity restaurants, but no because of the fact that this website is not a new concept. In the future though we may see more brands emerging and using this more due to the pandemic. Just like mullets or scrunchies, sometimes the future is actually something from the past with a breath of fresh air.