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Entry from February 11, 2021
Ghost Restaurant

Online and mobile prepared food ordering and delivery platforms such as DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and Uber Eats have resulted in several new terms for restaurants: cloud kitchen, cloud restaurant, dark kitchen, ghost kitchen, ghost restaurant, shadow kitchen, virtual kitchen and virtual restaurant.

VIRTUAL RESTAURANT:
A “virtual restaurant” operates its delivery service out of an existing restaurant’s kitchen. “Had a convo last wk with a chef about a future w/virtual restaurants” was posted on Twitter by Buckley on April 30, 2015. “#grubhub CEO on Virtual Restaurant Concept #nrashow https://instagram.com/p/20-YaxuMV9/” was posted on Twitter by Chris Belec on May 18, 2015. “ Bite Club, a virtual restaurant, launched its operations in the capital on Monday” was posted on IANS English (New Delhi, India) on June 15, 2015. “On-demand marketplaces will unleash a wave of new ‘virtual’ restaurant chains” was printed in TechCrunch on July 11, 2015.

“The terms virtual restaurant, delivery-only restaurant or cloud restaurant are also interchangeable, although ‘virtual restaurant’ is used most frequently. A virtual restaurant can be housed in an established traditional restaurant or housed in a dark/ghost/virtual/ cloud kitchen” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019.

What is a virtual restaurant? As opposed to a ghost kitchen, virtual restaurants don’t rent from third parties. They have their own established brick and mortar locations (or food trucks), and use their existing kitchens to create additional, delivery-exclusive menus” was posted on Roaming Hunger on November 24, 2020.

VIRTUAL KITCHEN:
“Virtual #kitchens idea as a future of food delivery @grubpreneurs #food #tech” was posted on Twitter by “sketchy people” on June 23, 2015. “Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual kitchens, have cropped up in increasing numbers across the U.S. and U.K. in recent years” was printed in The Canadian Press (Toronto, ON) on July 19, 2018. “‘Ghost kitchens’ / ‘virtual kitchens’ / ‘dark kitchens’ let food businesses ‘test new neighborhoods without committing a lot of money to a new restaurant, hiring waiters and other staff’ https://npr.org/2019/12/05/783164944/delivery-only-the-rise-of-restaurants-with-no-diners-as-apps-take-orders” was posted on Twitter by Tim Newman on December 5, 2019.

“The terms ‘dark kitchen’, ‘ghost kitchen,’ ‘virtual kitchen’ and ‘cloud kitchen’ are reasonably interchangeable. (...) These kitchens are not housed in restaurants, but rather in shared commissary spaces, such as Kitchen United or Zuul. These can also be kitchen operations located outside the walls of a typical brick-and-mortar restaurant, without a typical dining room or public space, again with a focus on off-premise” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019.

CLOUD KITCHEN:
“Cloud” refers to “cloud computing.” “Cloud kitchens are online breakfast and brunch units that do not have a physical restaurant” was printed in TechCircle on May 29, 2015. “"Swiggy Plans to Set Up Cloud Kitchens” was printed in India Business Insight (Bangalore) on November 18, 2015. “Cloud Kitchen” is also a name that was trademarked in 2018.

“The terms ‘dark kitchen’, ‘ghost kitchen,’ ‘virtual kitchen’ and ‘cloud kitchen’ are reasonably interchangeable. (...) These kitchens are not housed in restaurants, but rather in shared commissary spaces, such as Kitchen United or Zuul. These can also be kitchen operations located outside the walls of a typical brick-and-mortar restaurant, without a typical dining room or public space, again with a focus on off-premise” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019.

CLOUD RESTAURANT:
“Indian ‘cloud restaurants’ eat delivery apps’ lunch http://s.nikkei.com/2erSFVD” was posted on Twitter by Nikkei Asia on October 19, 2016. “Kind of like cloud restaurants: Delivery and internet only restaurants may be commonplace soon https://tnw.to/2jWKhn2” was posted on Twitter by Albert Fong on January 25, 2017. “The cloud restaurant space is so crowded that I saw a poster for a home cooked dog food service. Peak startup” was posted on Twitter by Saurabh Chandra on October 28, 2018.

“The terms virtual restaurant, delivery-only restaurant or cloud restaurant are also interchangeable, although ‘virtual restaurant’ is used most frequently. A virtual restaurant can be housed in an established traditional restaurant or housed in a dark/ghost/virtual/ cloud kitchen” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019.

CLOUD COMMISSARY:
“Shared commissary spaces focusing on delivery are also referred to as central kitchens, rent-a-kitchens, or as a ghost kitchen facility, dark kitchen facility or virtual kitchen facility. We also like the term cloud commissary, and we hope it catches on.” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019. The term, however, has not become popular.

GHOST KITCHEN:
“The I-Team checked 100 of New York City’s top customer-rated Seamless and GrubHub restaurants and found slightly more than 10 percent of the kitchens were ghosts, meaning they had names or addresses that failed to match any listing on the city’s database of restaurant inspection grades” was posted on NBC-4 New York on November 10, 2015. “Your Seamless order may have been cooked in a ‘ghost kitchen’” by Amber Sutherland and Laura Italiano was printed in the New York (NY) Post on November 11, 2015. “Ghost Kitchens Are the Wave of the Future. But Is That a Good Thing? Delivery-only restaurants, which have proliferated during the pandemic, could change the way the industry does business for years to come” was posted on Eater on November 9, 2020.

“The terms ‘dark kitchen’, ‘ghost kitchen,’ ‘virtual kitchen’ and ‘cloud kitchen’ are reasonably interchangeable. (...) These kitchens are not housed in restaurants, but rather in shared commissary spaces, such as Kitchen United or Zuul. These can also be kitchen operations located outside the walls of a typical brick-and-mortar restaurant, without a typical dining room or public space, again with a focus on off-premise” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019.

GHOST RESTAURANT:
“Ghost restaurant” is a less popular term than “ghost kitchen,” but it usually means the same thing, and it was coined at about the same time and under the same circumstances. “Investigating ‘Ghost Restaurants’ on Seamless and GrubHub: A new report reveals delivery services like Seamless are doing business with so-called ‘ghost restaurants’” was posted on WNYC on November 10, 2015. “This week’s cover story: Could ‘ghost restaurants’ be the death of traditional restaurants? http://bit.ly/1WDqClZ” was posted on Twitter by Crain’s New York on February 22, 2016. “‘Ghost restaurants’ with no physical location are popping up across the country. Can a restaurant succeed if it’s delivery-only?” was printed in Fast Company on January 20, 2017.

SHADOW KITCHEN:
“I also have heard that smaller restaurants have created shadow kitchens. In other words, your delivery order is fulfilled by a subcontractor elsewhere. Imagine a shadow kitchen contracting for all sorts of cuisines, a bland approximation of various signature dishes. the future” was posted on Twitter by clothilde on February 12, 2018. “Online food delivery platforms (OFDPs) like Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda and UberEats may have to rethink investments in cloud/ dark/shadow kitchens” was printed in Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai) on January 15, 2019.

“The terms ‘dark kitchen’, ‘ghost kitchen,’ ‘virtual kitchen’ and ‘cloud kitchen’ are reasonably interchangeable. (...) These kitchens are not housed in restaurants, but rather in shared commissary spaces, such as Kitchen United or Zuul. These can also be kitchen operations located outside the walls of a typical brick-and-mortar restaurant, without a typical dining room or public space, again with a focus on off-premise” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019. This article added that “shadow kitchen” is interchangeable with these other terms.

DARK KITCHEN:
“Deliveroo cooks up 150 ‘dark’ kitchens” by Ashley Armstrong was printed in The Sunday Telegraph (London, UK) on December 18, 2016. “Dark kitchens: is this the future of takeaway?” by Hattie Garlick was posted on FT.com on June 8, 2017. “‘Dark kitchens’ and ‘ghost restaurants’ are starting to pop up across the city as hungry locals tap into online ordering services such as UberEATS and Deliveroo: was printed in The Gold Coast Bulletin (Southport, Queensland) on October 12, 2017. “Dark kitchen – gastronomic revolutionaries” by Nadine Otto was posted on KTCHN rebel in January 2019. “Online food delivery platforms (OFDPs) like Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda and UberEats may have to rethink investments in cloud/ dark/shadow kitchens” was printed in Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai) on January 15, 2019.

“The terms ‘dark kitchen’, ‘ghost kitchen,’ ‘virtual kitchen’ and ‘cloud kitchen’ are reasonably interchangeable. (...) These kitchens are not housed in restaurants, but rather in shared commissary spaces, such as Kitchen United or Zuul. These can also be kitchen operations located outside the walls of a typical brick-and-mortar restaurant, without a typical dining room or public space, again with a focus on off-premise” was printed in Nation’s Restaurant News on December 19, 2019.

These concepts expanded during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, when many restaurants were forced to close for indoor dining.


Wikipedia: Ghost kitchen
A ghost kitchen (also known as a delivery-only restaurant, virtual kitchen, shadow kitchen, commissary kitchen or dark kitchen) is a professional food preparation and cooking facility set up for the preparation of delivery-only meals. However, a ghost kitchen differs from a virtual restaurant in that a ghost kitchen is not necessarily a restaurant brand in itself and may contain kitchen space and facilities for more than one restaurant brand.

A ghost kitchen contains the kitchen equipment and facilities needed for the preparation of restaurant meals but has no dining area for walk-in customers. Ghost kitchens have emerged as a business model in response to the rapid growth in consumer demand for restaurant delivery meals, and the lower costs incurred by using kitchen facilities located outside of high-rent, high-foot-trafficked urban locations. Using a ghost kitchen allows established restaurants with dining-in service to expand their delivery operations without adding stress to the existing kitchen, frees up parking taken by the delivery vehicles, and allows them to enter new neighborhoods at lower cost.

Wikipedia: Virtual restaurant
A virtual restaurant is a food service business that serves customers exclusively by delivery based on phone orders or online food ordering. It is a separate food vendor entity that operates out of an existing restaurant’s kitchen. By not having a full-service restaurant premise with a storefront and dining room, virtual restaurants can economize by occupying cheaper real estate. This is in contrast to a ghost kitchen which is a co-working concept for meal preparation with no retail presence that a restaurant/brand or multiple restaurants can buy into.

Twitter
Buckley
@eatpraylovePHL
Had a convo last wk with a chef about a future w/virtual restaurants.. this latest @davidchang
project is interesting http://grubstreet.com/2015/04/maple-momofuku-delivery-app.html
9:25 AM · Apr 30, 2015·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Chris Belec
@ChrisBelec1
#grubhub CEO on Virtual Restaurant Concept #nrashow https://instagram.com/p/20-YaxuMV9/
11:07 AM · May 18, 2015·Instagram

TechCircle
Online food ordering startup Swiggy targets cloud kitchens, guns for 15-min delivery service
Binu Paul 29 May, 2015
Swiggy-2Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates online food ordering startup Swiggy, aims to negate the late-mover disadvantage by joining hands with cloud-based kitchen operators and offering quicker delivery service to customers.

Swiggy has tied up with ‘cloud kitchens’ such as Eatongo and Brekkie, both Bangalore-based firms, and is in the process of signing up with few more in the coming weeks, said Nandan Reddy, Swiggy’s co-founder.

Cloud kitchens are online breakfast and brunch units that do not have a physical restaurant. They offer food though their websites/apps and also deliver to their customers.

15 June 2015, IANS English (New Delhi, India), “Delhiites, now affordable home-style meals a click away”:
New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) After tasting success in solving the million dollar question of ‘what’s for lunch or dinner today’ for professionals and families in Gurgaon, Bite Club, a virtual restaurant, launched its operations in the capital on Monday.

Bite Club will provide food items like Methi Malai Paneer, Dal Tadka with Tawa Parathas and Chicken Caesar Salad within the price range of Rs.100-Rs.300 per person, with a minimum delivery value of Rs.100.

Twitter
sketchy people
@sketchyppl
Virtual #kitchens idea as a future of food delivery @grubpreneurs #food #tech
2:30 PM · Jun 23, 2015·Buffer

TechCrunch
The Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars
Martin Mignot@martinmignot / 2:37 PM EDT•July 11, 2015
(...)
2. On-demand marketplaces will unleash a wave of new “virtual” restaurant chains
This is a trend that is likely to extend beyond fast food 2.0: on-demand marketplaces will soon offer a powerful enough distribution infrastructure (through both very large customer bases and efficient nationwide delivery networks) to spare emerging chefs the hassle and high upfront investment of launching a physical restaurant.

They can instead rent space in industrial kitchens located in their delivery area of choice, and test new concepts on the cheap, the on-demand marketplaces acting as discovery/distribution channels for them – appstores for food.

NBC-4 New York
I-Team: Restaurants Use False Identities on Food Delivery Websites
By Chris Glorioso and Ann Givens and Evan Stulberger • Published November 10, 2015 • Updated on November 11, 2015 at 10:36 pm
Feel like delivery food tonight? If you order on the popular websites Seamless or GrubHub, the kitchen cooking your dinner may not be what it claims to be.

The I-Team checked 100 of New York City’s top customer-rated Seamless and GrubHub restaurants and found slightly more than 10 percent of the kitchens were ghosts, meaning they had names or addresses that failed to match any listing on the city’s database of restaurant inspection grades.

WNYC
Investigating ‘Ghost Restaurants’ on Seamless and GrubHub
A new report reveals delivery services like Seamless are doing business with so-called “ghost restaurants.”

Nov 10, 2015
(...)
A new report from our partners NBC 4 New York reveals that these delivery services are doing business with so-called “ghost restaurants,” many of them with fake addresses and no permits. They might seem to be restaurants — but are really unregulated people cooking in their own homes.

New York (NY) Post
Your Seamless order may have been cooked in a ‘ghost kitchen’
By Amber Sutherland and Laura Italiano November 11, 2015 | 3:53pm
Chew on this — the food you order on GrubHub and Seamless may have been cooked in a low-grade, or even totally unregulated, “ghost kitchen.”

Many restaurants listed on the food-ordering Web sites are not the ones that actually cook and deliver your food, a new report has found.

A survey of 100 of the top customer-ranked restaurants on the popular sites revealed that just over 10 percent were “ghost” listings whose name and addresses are nowhere to be found in the city’s database of restaurant-inspection grades, NBC New York said.

18 November 2015, India Business Insight (Bangalore), “Swiggy Plans to Set Up Cloud Kitchens”:
Swiggy, online food ordering start-up of Bengaluru, plans to set up cloud kitchens. It would set up kitchens jointly with restaurants under a revenue sharing model. Bundi Technologies Ltd is the owner of Swiggy that books customer orders for food from multiple restaurants and delivers them at their doorsteps.

Business Insider
Your Seamless order might be coming from a shady apartment kitchen
Madison Malone Kircher , Tech Insider Dec 1, 2015, 12:31 PM
If you’ve ever ordered food online in New York City, you might want to double check that your dish was actually prepared in a licensed restaurant. If not, you could be ordering from a “ghost kitchen” — a non-existent restaurant where food is prepared in someone’s home, or even a different restaurant with a low health rating, NBC 4 New York reports.

1 December 2015, The Economic Times (New Delhi, India), “Online food-ordering startup Swiggy in talks to raise around $40 million [Startups]” by Aditi Shrivastava and Madhav Chanchani:
Swiggy is also helping restaurants listed on its food-ordering platform set up so-called “cloud kitchens” in locations where demand is high, Reddy said. “These dark stores are heated units that serve as a delivery unit only with a limited menu. We are also piloting Swiggy Express, where we work with gourmet caterers and chefs to curate certain set of precooked meals,” Reddy said.

Twitter
Crain’s New York
@CrainsNewYork
This week’s cover story: Could ‘ghost restaurants’ be the death of traditional restaurants? http://bit.ly/1WDqClZ
8:45 AM · Feb 22, 2016·SocialFlow

7 March 2016, The Economic Times (New Delhi, India) “As tech startups run into rough weather, they cast a shadow on the entire risk capital-funded ecosystem [Startups]” by Rahul Sachitanand,, et al.:
“The Indian ecommerce story is intact,” says Nandan Reddy, cofounder of online food delivery company Swiggy. An 18-month-old venture, it has raised $40 million from investors such as Norwest Venture Partners and Accel Partners. “As with offline businesses, online businesses too have to get their fundamentals right and probably take several steps in that direction, in their bid to sustain and grow. That is happening.” In the case of Swiggy, this means ensuring exceptional customer experience - by hiring delivery executives and its own delivery fleet, increasing supply through virtual kitchens and crunching delivery time - will help build a more robust business.

Eater—New York
When Restaurants Ditch the Dining Room
Here’s what happens when a restaurant decides to be a virtual, delivery-only business

by Serena Dai Sep 26, 2016, 3:34pm EDT
(...)
The idea of the virtual restaurant, free of the weight of a brick-and-mortar dining room, is catching fire. A year-and-a-half ago, Seamless didn’t have any delivery-only restaurants. Now, it has at least a dozen in New York alone.

Nation’s Restaurant News
4 October 2016, Nation’s Restaurant News (New York, NY), “GrubHub CEO predicts rise of “virtual’ restaurants”:
In the future, “virtual” restaurants will focus solely on delivery and eliminate in-house dining, according to Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney.

Maloney made his prediction at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow conference at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., last week.

He said it’s hard for restaurants to focus on in-house customers when the kitchen does 250 delivery orders a night.

CTV News (Canada)
How virtual restaurants will change the way we eat in 2017: report
Published Saturday, November 26, 2016 9:27AM EST
Virtual restaurants are predicted to be one of the biggest trends to define the food and dining landscape in 2017, according to a trendspotting report.

After the “Uberization” of food delivery, experts at the New York-based consultancy group Baum + Whiteman predict that “restaurants without seats, and seats without restaurants” will become increasingly popular and add another dimension to the sharing economy next year.

Twitter
Nikkei Asia
@NikkeiAsia
Indian ‘cloud restaurants’ eat delivery apps’ lunch http://s.nikkei.com/2erSFVD
8:03 AM · Oct 19, 2016·NAR自動投稿用

18 December 2016, The Sunday Telegraph (London, UK), “Deliveroo cooks up 150 ‘dark’ kitchens” by Ashley Armstrong, pg. 1:
DELIVEROO is secretly gearing up for a massive roll-out of its “dark kitchens” to meet soaring demand for takeaway orders from upmarket local restaurants.

According to documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the British food delivery firm is negotiating with property agents to launch 150 bricks and mortar sites across the country by the end of next year.

Earlier this year, the business launched its so-called “Roobox” formula - a kitchen without any restaurant attached - designed to fulfil delivery orders. Industry experts have likened them to supermarkets’ “dark stores”, which have shelves of food products for online orders but no shoppers.

Fast Company
01-20-17 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES
Hold The Storefront: How Delivery-Only “Ghost” Restaurants Are Changing Takeout
“Ghost restaurants” with no physical location are popping up across the country. Can a restaurant succeed if it’s delivery-only?

BY NEAL UNGERLEIDER
Hungry New Yorkers ordering meals through such online services as Seamless or Eat24 order everything from sushi to burgers to tacos. But when they order from certain restaurants like Leafage and Butcher Block, they might not realize that those restaurants aren’t restaurants at all. They are virtual eateries created by a company called the Green Summit Group that operates several food-delivery services out of central commissaries in midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Chicago. In New York alone, Green Summit’s brands offer all sorts of cuisine “concepts,” including meatballs, salad/sandwich/juice, and burgers/grilled cheese.

Twitter
Albert Fong
@albertfong98
Kind of like cloud restaurants: Delivery and internet only restaurants may be commonplace soon https://tnw.to/2jWKhn2
12:15 AM · Jan 25, 2017·LinkedIn

28 March 2017, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “9 restaurants, 1 kitchen—and no dining room: ‘Ghost’ eateries cash in on online ordering, delivery-only service” by Robert Channick, pgs. 1, 8:
Capitalizing on the growing trend of online food delivery, New York startup Green Summit Group has launched nine virtual restaurants from an anonymous Lakeview neighborhood storefront, churning out orders for customers on Grubhub.
(...)
Launched in 2013 with co-founder Todd Millman and $200,000 in seed money, Green Summit decided to cut out the dining room and tap directly into the restaurant delivery trend. Pioneering the virtual, or “ghost,” restaurant concept, Schatzberg and his partner opened three kitchens in New York and a plethora of online brands.

8 June 2017, FT.com, “Dark kitchens: is this the future of takeaway?” by Hattie Garlick:
This is Deliveroo Editions, a site where restaurant food is cooked, but no restaurant actually exists. Instead, five “dark kitchens” operate from a single car park, cooking contrasting cuisines from across the world. Each has equipment provided by Deliveroo, the London-based delivery service, but the menus and staff are provided by individual restaurants that want to launch or increase their delivery capacity.

31 July 2017, The Straits Times (Singapore), “Aussie restaurants ride delivery wave: ‘Ghost restaurants’ that provide meals by delivery only are popping up around country” by Jonathan Pearlman.

12 October 2017, The Gold Coast Bulletin (Southport, Queensland), “Coast Kitchens Turn to the Dark Side” by Kristy Muir, pg. 2:
HOLD the shopfront, a new trend is changing the way Gold Coasters do takeaway. “Dark kitchens” and “ghost restaurants” are starting to pop up across the city as hungry locals tap into online ordering services such as UberEATS and Deliveroo.

Greek Eats is just one example of the growing wave of businesses that skip the shopfront and bring food straight to the customer.

Owner Anna Santiago told the Gold Coast Bulletin using the online delivery platforms gave her the idea to have a “dark kitchen”.

The Wall Street Journal
These Hot Restaurants Aren’t on Maps, Only in Apps
A virtual restaurant model, with low overhead, is a shift away from the capital-intensive model that kills 60% of new restaurants in their first five years

By Christopher Mims
Nov. 5, 2017 7:00 am ET
(...)
Tucked inside industrial parks, commissary kitchens and refitted basements in cities like New York, Chicago and San Jose, these restaurants have no dining room, no wait staff, no takeout window and no signage. (They still have to pass inspections from health boards, though.) Many don’t take orders over the phone and are accessible only through online services like Grubhub , DoorDash or Postmates.

Virtual restaurants, with their low overhead, are allowing restaurateurs to shift away from the capital-intensive model that kills 60% of new restaurants in their first five years toward something decidedly more techy. By adopting a “launch, experiment and iterate” approach, these virtual restaurants resemble scrappy internet startups (only, when they say “apps,” they often mean appetizers).

Baltimore (MD) Sun
Food delivery services make way for Baltimore’s first ‘ghost kitchens’
By SARAH MEEHAN
FEB 12, 2018 AT 6:00 AM
Diners craving Korean eats from Haenyo can’t stroll into a storefront and sit down for a meal. But they can have the eatery’s rice bowls, dumplings and soups delivered to their doorsteps.

Unlike the other delivery options, Haenyo isn’t a restaurant. Founded as a pop-up last year, the operation is among Baltimore’s first “ghost kitchens,” dishing out meals from a commissary kitchen via Uber Eats. It’s an emerging model that keeps overhead costs low in a time when it’s increasingly risky to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Cities like New York and Washington have already had a wave of delivery-only eateries crop up. And as services like Uber Eats proliferate, Baltimore could be next.

Twitter
clothilde
@_cynar
Replying to @_cynar
I also have heard that smaller restaurants have created shadow kitchens. In other words, your delivery order is fulfilled by a subcontractor elsewhere. Imagine a shadow kitchen contracting for all sorts of cuisines, a bland approximation of various signature dishes. the future
10:52 AM · Feb 12, 2018·Twitter Web Client

14 June 2018, The Economic Times (New Delhi, India), “Food Delivery Battle Brews in Cloud Kitchen, Zomato Leads” by Srinivasan Supraja:
The first tranche of about $5 million (above ?30 crore) has already been invested in the firm which provides a platform for restaurants to expand their operations and outlets through a shadow kitchen model.
(...)
Zomato’s success rate with expanding the cloud kitchen model has been rather slow with only a few locations being served even after a year of the model’s launch.

19 July 2018, The Canadian Press (Toronto, ON), “‘Ghost kitchens’ emerge in Canadian food scene as delivery grows in popularity” by Tara Deschamps:
TORONTO - George Kottas owns 15 restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area, but almost none of them have a dining room or takeout counter, and if you wandered into most, you’d be hard-pressed to find any customers.

These characteristics might seem like a recipe for disaster in the cutthroat restaurant world, but instead, they’re the signature traits of ghost kitchens—a rapidly emerging business model where entrepreneurs operate multiple delivery-only food businesses from a network of kitchens that often don’t serve walk-in customers.

Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual kitchens, have cropped up in increasing numbers across the U.S. and U.K. in recent years, but have only recently started seeping into the Canadian market, which Kottas said is ripe for the model.

Twitter
Saurabh Chandra
@saurabhchandra
The cloud restaurant space is so crowded that I saw a poster for a home cooked dog food service. Peak startup.
10:24 PM · Oct 28, 2018·Twitter Web App

KTCHN rebel
Dark kitchen – gastronomic revolutionaries
BY: NADINE OTTO
Jan, 2019
(...)
Dark kitchens, as it turns out, have no tables or wait staff, because they only prepare food for delivery services. Not all of them are in shipping containers, of course; some of these “ghost” kitchens can be found in retail spaces or other empty rooms. But the principle is the same everywhere: operators (delivery services or restaurants, for example) equip the spaces with modern kitchen equipment so that they can prepare and sell their dishes outside of the original restaurant.

15 January 2019, Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai), “Dark kitchens haunt food apps” by Ashish K. Tiwari,
Online food delivery platforms (OFDPs) like Zomato, Swiggy, Foodpanda and UberEats may have to rethink investments in cloud/ dark/shadow kitchens.

1 February 2019, Toronto (ON) Star, “Virtual kitchens see growth in Canada: New food-service model focuses on meal prep for Uber Eats-style clients” by Kevin Malmann, pg. E12:
Rishi Mittal manages 13 “restaurants” run out of a single kitchen in downtown Edmonton, where his unnamed numbered company serves up a wide variety of dining options for mostly online customers.

Ghost kitchens like his, also called virtual kitchens, operate multiple food-delivery businesses from a location that may or may not serve any walk-in customers.

22 May 2019, Financial Times (London, UK), “Tech investors get taste for virtual restaurants: ‘Dark kitchens’ can service the booming food-delivery sector from a disused premises or even a shipping container” by Tim Bradshaw, pg. 13:
Venture capitalists have alighted on the best solution: kitchens that only serve delivery customers, known as “cloud”, “ghost” or “dark” kitchens, that exploit a combination of advanced food preparation, underused real estate and algorithm-driven optimisation to lower overheads and increase output.

10 June 2019, Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand), “Rise of ghost restaurants” by Anula Nadkarni, pg. 20:
Virtual restaurants are digital- only kitchens that aren’t seeking a traditional customer following, and are becoming popular with restaurant entrepreneurs for extra revenue, or to experiment with new food concepts.

One of New Zealand’s first “ghost” restaurants was Hot Lips, run by Jamie Mitchell and Mike Shand ...

Twitter
Nicole Maffeo Russo
@nicolerusso
Great @foodandwine article on the new trend of “cloud” restaurants, like @puritantrading. Thanks for including @wdgilson in the story, @baburoset!
Cloud Kitchens Help Restaurants Weather Tough Times
Established restauranteurs and chefs are using cloud kitchens to open new concepts and meet consumers where they are.
foodandwine.com
6:06 PM · Jul 11, 2019·Twitter Web Client

New York (NY) Times
14 August 2019, New York (NY) Times, “The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant” by Mike Isaac and David Yaffe-Bellany (online):
The shift has popularized two types of digital culinary establishments. One is “virtual restaurants,” which are attached to real-life restaurants like Mr. Lopez’s Top Round but make different cuisines specifically for the delivery apps. The other is “ghost kitchens,” which have no retail presence and essentially serve as a meal preparation hub for delivery orders.

USA Today
The rise of ‘ghost kitchens’: Here’s what the online food ordering boom has produced
Alexandra Olson Associated Press
Published 12:39 p.m. ET Oct. 21. 2019
(...)
Thousands of restaurants are experimenting with these virtual spinoffs tucked inside their own kitchens. Others are opening “ghost kitchens,” where all food is prepared to-go.

Twitter
Tim Newman
@tnewmstweet
“Ghost kitchens” / “virtual kitchens” / “dark kitchens” let food businesses “test new neighborhoods without committing a lot of money to a new restaurant, hiring waiters and other staff” https://npr.org/2019/12/05/783164944/delivery-only-the-rise-of-restaurants-with-no-diners-as-apps-take-orders
9:39 AM · Dec 5, 2019·Twitter Web App

Nation’s Restaurant News
What’s the difference between a ‘ghost kitchen’ and a ‘virtual restaurant’?
A handy glossary to makes sense of those pesky off-premise dining terms

NRN staff | Dec 19, 2019
(...)
The terms ‘dark kitchen’, ‘ghost kitchen,’ ‘virtual kitchen’ and ‘cloud kitchen’ are reasonably interchangeable.
(...)
These kitchens are not housed in restaurants, but rather in shared commissary spaces, such as Kitchen United or Zuul. These can also be kitchen operations located outside the walls of a typical brick-and-mortar restaurant, without a typical dining room or public space, again with a focus on off-premise.

Shared commissary spaces focusing on delivery are also referred to as central kitchens, rent-a-kitchens, or as a ghost kitchen facility, dark kitchen facility or virtual kitchen facility. We also like the term cloud commissary, and we hope it catches on.
(...)
The terms virtual restaurant, delivery-only restaurant or cloud restaurant are also interchangeable, although ‘virtual restaurant’ is used most frequently. A virtual restaurant can be housed in an established traditional restaurant or housed in a dark/ghost/virtual/ cloud kitchen.

YouTube
What is a ghost restaurant?
May 19, 2020
13 ON YOUR SIDE
Restaurants are facing a tough time, as dining rooms across much of the state remain closed and the pandemic affects their profits.

Now, some locally-owned restaurants are getting creative to bring in revenue. Some are creating ‘ghost restaurants’ or ‘ghost kitchens.’

A ghost restaurant is an entirely online business that has no physical dining space. It often uses the kitchen of another restaurant, and ordering for pickup or delivery is done on a website or third-party delivery app, like Door Dash or Uber Eats.

The New Yorker
Coronavirus
Our Ghost-Kitchen Future

By Anna Wiener
June 28, 2020
(...)
For now, though, Reef is focussing on food preparation as a test case—a proof of concept for other sorts of “applications” that might make sense in some later, future time. Food prep is a sensible first experiment for Reef’s modular approach to repurposing parking lots: over the past few years, delivery has been on the upswing, and delivery-only kitchens—referred to as “ghost kitchens” or “dark kitchens”—are having a moment.

Galley
July 16, 2020
What Is a Ghost Kitchen? Here’s Everything You Need To Know.
by Ian Christopher
(...)
A ghost kitchen, simply put, is a delivery-only restaurant. There’s no physical space for customers. Orders are made in one location, picked up by a delivery driver, and enjoyed off-premise.

This means that ghost kitchens are heavily reliant on 3rd-party delivery apps, like Grubhub and UberEats, to get customers and deliver orders. It also means they don’t have to pay rent on the physical space that would normally be taken up by diners (or the lack thereof).

The Markup
Ask The Markup
What Are Ghost Kitchens?

September 15, 2020 08:00 ET
(...)
Enter the ghost kitchen—also called a virtual kitchen, virtual restaurant, cloud kitchen, or dark kitchen—a nascent internet-native business model that is spreading around the world.

When a virtual restaurant shows up in a delivery app, it may be indistinguishable from a brick-and-mortar pizza shop or mom-and-pop noodle joint, but it’s fundamentally different. The virtual restaurant is optimized for generating orders online and handing them to delivery drivers, and the name that’s advertised may not exist outside of the internet. Additionally, the menu and branding might have been created by a tech firm.

Eater
Ghost Kitchens Are the Wave of the Future. But Is That a Good Thing?
Delivery-only restaurants, which have proliferated during the pandemic, could change the way the industry does business for years to come

by Kristen Hawley Nov 9, 2020, 10:55am EST
(...)
Virtual brands, ghost kitchens, delivery-only concepts — whatever you call them — have thrived during COVID-19. Euromonitor, a market research firm, recently estimated that they could be a $1 trillion business by 2030. That’s happening concurrently with near-impossible working conditions for many brick-and-mortar restaurants. Stores in cities that once did a brisk lunch business saw sales fall off a cliff. To mitigate losses, some restaurants are throwing everything they have at virtual expansion, creating entirely new brands that live online.

Roaming Hunger
Guide to Ghost Kitchens (2020): All You Need to Know
November 24, 2020 • Feature, The Industry, Virtual Restaurants/Ghost Kitchens
(...)
What is a ghost kitchen?
“A ghost kitchen is where virtual brands are produced without a brick and mortar location,” Greenspan explains, “They’re facilities that are made solely for producing virtual brands”. Companies in this space include Kitchen United and Cloud Kitchens, a Los Angeles based company founded by Uber founder Travis Kalanick, which calls itself a “smart kitchen”. It’s also a company that Greenspan has used to launch several virtual brands.
(...)
What is a virtual restaurant?
As opposed to a ghost kitchen, virtual restaurants don’t rent from third parties. They have their own established brick and mortar locations (or food trucks), and use their existing kitchens to create additional, delivery-exclusive menus.

(Trademark)
Word Mark CLOUDKITCHENS
Goods and Services IC 039. US 100 105. G & S: Delivery of food by restaurants; food delivery
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 87958653
Filing Date June 12, 2018
Current Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition January 8, 2019
International Registration Number 1437079; 1437332; 1436742
Owner (APPLICANT) City Storage Systems LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE 350 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 210 Beverly Hills CALIFORNIA 90212
Attorney of Record Randy Friedberg
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Thursday, February 11, 2021 • Permalink