December 5, 2023


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Is Ghost Kitchen Brands a QSR Concept in Disguise? | Franchise News

You commence a diner. Then, you detect you’re lacking out on shipping and delivery orders for the duration of the night, so you depart the kitchen open up 24/7 to fill those people orders. That business functions, so you start a bunch of distinct makes and start off opening shipping and delivery-only destinations. Then, you notice you are leaving money on the table by not supplying takeout, so you insert in pick-up windows, digital buying kiosks and even a couple tables.

What does that go away you with? A ghost kitchen area? A tech-forward speedy-support restaurant? It’s unclear, but Marc Choy, president of Ghost Kitchen Brand names, suggests that is what his principle is. The organization commenced in 2015 in Toronto as Chunk Me Diner and now operates 25 multi-tenant ghost kitchens—many serving foods from franchise brands—across Canada and the United States.

“There’s a selected kind of consumer that likes to walk in and decide on up,” explained Choy. He’s a single of them. Regardless of working a significant ghost kitchen corporation, he claimed he prefers to choose up food items himself, and generally forgets shipping and delivery is even an solution.

Takeout prospects like Choy are a boon for the small business. “Average ticket is close to 50 p.c more” on pickup orders, he spelled out, and they don’t have to shell out fee or delivery expenses to an aggregator to make the sale. 

The only operational change amongst takeout and shipping Choy discovered was in juggling wait around situations. “You have a 15- to 20-minute window for supply orders,” he said, but with takeout, the client is ready suitable there. Kitchen area personnel need to transfer more rapidly and prioritize that takeout purchase.

Ghost Kitchen Brands CEO with Shaq

George Kottas, CEO of Ghost Kitchen Manufacturers, with Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal’s Massive Hen has a place inside a Walmart in Rochester, New York, by an arrangement with GKB.

Even though the operational change in between a QSR and a ghost kitchen area with takeout may be negligible, the attitudinal variation is evident. “There’s no shopper services,” Choy reported of GKB’s dining establishments. Clients buy through a kiosk and are informed by textual content when their foodstuff is completely ready. Assess that angle to dining places, which typically see hospitality and assistance as a important element of their benefit. 

Figuring out how to explain GKB is extra than a theoretical challenge. Choy mentioned consumers “usually have abide by-up questions” when they listen to about the concept. “Once they learn about it, they love it,” he claimed, but explaining it to buyers and even far more advanced stakeholders this kind of as landlords and distributors can take time. 

The firm is gearing up for a considerable growth. Choy claimed GKB set the “lofty” objective of opening 150 new kitchens throughout Canada and the United States this year, mostly from inside of Walmarts. But “getting vents and hoods and cafe gear is turning out to be an ever more difficult challenge” simply because of offer chain difficulties, he extra. The guide time on an oven the corporation works by using is at 22 months. 

Study far more about Ghost Kitchen area Brand’s partnership with Walmart here. 

Susi Graf, director of internet marketing for GKB, stated the organization is performing on Walmart-based locations as far afield as Texas and California, and nearer to home in states this kind of as New York and Illinois. 

Choy sees Ghost Kitchen area Makes, and organizations like it, as an perfect associate for a firm with solid brand name recognition and weaker distribution channels. He cited Quiznos, a when-big sandwich chain that has get rid of 1000’s of units in excess of the previous ten years, as a primary instance, as perfectly as Ben & Jerry’s, a corporation whose customer branding runs nicely in advance of its community of ice cream shops. Quiznos guardian Rego Restaurant Group, which incorporates Taco Del Mar, signed a 100-device settlement with GKB in 2021

The business is appealing relative to common franchisees mainly because of its present community, stated Choy. Franchisors can signal a franchisee for a person location or indication with GKB and be in 25 destinations in the following month, he spelled out. 

Licensing agreements like the kinds GKB has with manufacturers can be attractive in other techniques, too. On a recent earnings simply call, Wendy’s CFO Gunther Plosch famous that the organization took a 6 percent royalty on revenue designed by Reef-operated ghost kitchens, in contrast to 4 per cent on a traditional franchise place. 

The method also works in reverse. Graf said the enterprise is looking for partners and buyers to open up and run ghost kitchens underneath the GKB umbrella. For such individuals, the primary attract is GKB’s roster of much more than 20 associates, together with franchises Cinnabon, Jamba, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Saladworks and Shaquille O’Neal’s Huge Chicken. 

A variation of this story originally appeared in Food stuff On Demand from customers, a sister publication of Franchise Times.