Ghost Kitchens: Are they Legit or are We Being Tricked by Restaurants?
I enjoy reading through the restaurant reviews in the Tri-State Restaurant Reviews Facebook page. If you aren't a member yet, I highly recommend that you join it. There are plenty of reviews, scoop on new or closing restaurants, and suggestions for restaurants that maybe you haven't tried. Maybe you've come across an eatery on your go-to ordering app that might not even exist.
Ghost Kitchens are popping up in apps like Door Dash and Grub Hub. What is a ghost kitchen and why should it matter where your food comes from?
Well, first of all, a 'Ghost Kitchen'? It's basically another way for restaurant owners to generate revenue during the pandemic. Most of them could only offer delivery or carry out, so to add to their menu, owners could buy into other brands and offer some different items.
For the most part, I think this is just fine unless you have a personal ban on a restaurant, and then you end up ordering from it! Yes, this is a storyline from The King of Queens, but it also happens in real life.
Wow Bao operates out of Fazoli's. For a $2,000 investment, the owner was able to put in a turn-key kitchen kit, so they can now offer a different menu under this new brand. You can only order these items through the 3rd party app. The goal is to increase revenue.
“Our goal is for the operator to do $2,000 a week in sales by week six,” says Geoff Alexander, Wow Bao CEO.
Celebrities are now offering their brands as ghost or virtual kitchens. Mariah Carey has Mariah's Cookies, Mario Lopez has an authentic virtual concept that includes churros, and OMG DJ Pauly D has an Italian sub shop!
The delivery-only restaurant we really need is Flavortown Kitchen. Guy Fieri partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts to bring a variety of his menu items to restaurants that need extra revenue. It's too bad they don't deliver from Louisville to Evansville. Seriously, there are two Flavortown Kitchens in addition to his Smokehouse. Couldn't we at least get a Chicken Guy?