"I ain't afraid of no ghosts!" GHOST KITCHENS. The new take on fast-casual dining! 👻🍴👻🍴

Part One is all about What We Know in our two-part trend report.

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THIS WEEK’S DOPE NEW STARTUP IDEA COVERS:
* Ghost Kitchens + Delivery-Only Restaurants + Virtual Brands 🔥

WHAT WE KNOW:
* The Market Indicators & Behavioral Consumer Trends we've identified.
>> [ demand for food delivery has exploded! ]
How Covid accelerated the rise of ghost kitchens
thanks sunny! https://twitter.com/sunny_newsiee

The Covid pandemic has decimated the restaurant industry and has created huge demand for food deliveries.

It’s leading to the accelerated growth of ghost kitchens, or cooking facilities that produce food only for delivery and takeout with no dine-in areas. According to Euromonitor, ghost kitchens could create a $1 trillion global market by 2030.

Top brands such as The Halal Guys, Dog Haus, and Wow Bao are seeing success with the ghost kitchen model. It allows restaurants to cut costs and make profits during a global pandemic.

>> [ food delivery is the new take on fast-casual dining! ]
What You Need to Know About Virtual Restaurants
thanks ypulse! https://twitter.com/ypulse

YPulse’s Nightlife and Drinking report found that 65% of young consumers aren’t currently comfortable going to sit down restaurants, and 48% aren’t comfortable visiting quick service restaurants in person.

Take out has become a lifeline for food brands and virtual kitchens, a growing concept before the pandemic, have exploded during this time.

>> [ delivery-only restaurants get massive traction! ]
Delivery-only restaurant brands, some backed by chains such as Applebee’s and Chili's, growing
thanks dee-ann! https://twitter.com/deeanndurbin_ap

Delivery-only brands – cooked in another brand's kitchen and often delivered by third parties like Uber Eats – were proliferating even before the coronavirus pandemic.

But over the last year, delivery-only brands have seen explosive growth as the pandemic made delivery a more popular option. Big restaurant chains are now joining the fray, hoping to win new customers as traffic in their dining rooms dwindles.

Uber Eats says it has more than 10,000 delivery-only restaurants on its platform, up from 3,000 in 2019.

NPD Group, which tracks U.S. restaurant sales, says delivery now makes up 11% of restaurant sales, up 86% since the pandemic began.

In some cases, delivery-only brands have become big businesses of their own. Brinker International, which owns Chili’s, says It’s Just Wings is on track to bring in $150 million in annual sales.

>> [ influencer ghost kitchens turns into immediate success! ]
MrBeast Burger has sold over 1 million sandwiches since launching in December and the startup behind it sees a huge opportunity in influencer 'ghost kitchens'
thanks dan! https://twitter.com/dwhate

Virtual Dining Concepts helped the MrBeast team design a menu, secure restaurant partners, and create training materials so every product would taste the same nationwide.

The company enlisted a network of 300 "ghost kitchens", which paid an all-inclusive platform fee to cook and sell MrBeast menu items. Many of these partner restaurants saw a sales lift from the new source of demand. 

The company is planning to expand to 1,000 restaurants by the end of the second quarter.

Donaldson recently tweeted that MrBeast Burger had sold over 1 million sandwiches since launch, a figure the company confirmed to Insider.

>> [ virtual brands proliferate en masse! ]
You’ve Heard of Ghost Kitchens. Meet the Ghost Franchises
thanks marissa! https://twitter.com/marissa_conrad

But even an independent restaurant can get a virtual brand up and running in less than 30 days, with few limits to the number of brands one owner can take on. And that potential speed of proliferation could result in a delivery-app ecosystem where the ghost-franchise parent companies duke it out at the top, while the truly independent restaurants are pushed farther down the list.

In New York City, this is already happening. If you’ve noticed the torrent of perplexing restaurant names on delivery apps, many of them confusingly similar, this too is a manifestation of the ghost franchise.

When Jacky Cheng, a resident of the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, ordered from Village Breakfast Snob on DoorDash, “it didn’t really cross my mind that it was a ghost kitchen,” he said. “Although it should have, because who the heck names their restaurant that?”

The food, he later found out, came from a bodega in the East Village that is operating as at least 10 ghost brands, including LA Breakfast Club and American Cheesesteaks. New York is now home to the Pancake Snob, Breakfast Burrito Snob, Sushi Snob, Pad Thai Snob, Chicken Tikka Snob and Snobby Chicken Wings. There’s also the Burger Bae and Breakfast Be Loved.

The style of these names creates a marketplace that parallels Amazon in some ways, said Lea Chu, a group director of naming at the brand strategy firm Siegel & Gale. You have a need — there, a hole puncher; here, a breakfast burrito — and a hyper-specific listing is there to fill it.


THE DOPE IDEA & THE BRAND EXECUTION:
* Taking the idea and amplifying that into tactical action.

See you next week for the second half of our two-part report.

We’ll discuss on how to position ourselves as a new player in the Ghost Kitchens + Delivery-Only Restaurants + Virtual Brands space — and get into the development of the Brand IP, securing a legit Domain Name, then making it Internet LIVE.


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