- With the pandemic increasing the amount of grocery deliveries and affecting restaurants' bottom line, vibrant ghost kitchens see an opportunity to grow.
- The category had already sparked great interest, particularly from Uber co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, who launched CloudKitchens in 2016.
- We have assembled 14 of the largest players in the ghost kitchen world to demonstrate the international reach of the emerging space.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
The pandemic has closed thousands of restaurants, many of them forever The volume of food supplies is increasing significantly. Much of the country reopens indoor restaurants, however Opentable reports that the number of seated guests remained significantly below average in the past year.
Ghost Kitchens, a lively class of startups, was already betting that delivery in market share would increase, which attracted founders like billionaire Uber ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, but the rapid surge in supply demand has accelerated their growth.
These companies operate a kitchen with multiple restaurants or menus where they only do delivery (or sometimes pick up) orders. Some run their own food brands, while others work with local chefs or established brands.
While American startup breeding sites like Silicon Valley and New York have seen multiple haunted kitchen startups, this trend is worldwide, with Dubai, India, and Western Europe emerging as other areas that have spawned multiple startups.
"Every single restaurant worldwide became a ghost kitchen overnight," Corey Manicone, CEO and co-founder of Zuul Kitchens, told Business Insider. He said the pandemic accelerated the concept by three to five years, but there was still a lot of growth ahead.
"We were in the same place as e-commerce in the early 2000s," he said.
Money continues to flow into the room: both Zuul and the hotel-oriented butler hospitality ghost kitchen raised $ 9 million and $ 15 million in July, respectively. Karma Kitchen, a UK-based kitchen, has also recently raised $ 318 million.
In a time of economic contraction, the model is very useful for restaurant visitors. Real estate and labor costs can be spread across multiple restaurants, reducing the space and number of employees a restaurant needs. Less overhead with the same income.
Continue reading: Bond, who raised $ 15 million from investors like Lightspeed, wants to shopify logistics by turning empty retail space into warehouses
The impact of the pandemic on retail space, including restaurant space, has also been a boon to the industry. Companies are converting restaurant space, underutilized retail space and occasionally industrial space into ghost kitchens. Two of these three categories, retail and restaurants, have an overwhelming negative impact from the pandemic, leading to an oversupply of ghost kitchens.
While real estate companies may not have originally planned to bring ghost kitchens into their space, the bottom of traditional tenant demand has opened many to business.
"Many of these development companies, larger landowners and real estate companies are looking ahead and seeing how best to optimize their inventory for the future," said Jim Collins, founder and CEO of Kitchen United. Business Insider said.
We have compiled a list of 14 of the hottest startups in this area, highlighting where they received money and what is different about their concept.