Going Ghost?

Before you wander off into the creepy world of virtual kitchens all alone, take heed of these warnings from those who have gone before.

Man walking in a dark mysterious forest with fog.
Things that go bump in the night include: ghosts, and that one dude who left that lousy Yelp review. / andreiuc88 © 123RF.com

Something wicked this way comes. That’s COVID, and in its wake follows the most reviled of restaurant realities: the pivot. It’s spawned a boom in delivery- and takeout-only concepts, one you’re probably sick of hearing about: the virtual kitchen. (Make that, “Three things wicked this way come.”)

You may have already sprouted a whole cluster of concepts in your own restaurant. Whether you’re calling them ghost or virtual kitchens, pop-ups, or just your takeout menu, there’s real money to be made in the delivery game, even if you feel like a babe in the wilderness when it comes to making the shift. The Colorado Restaurant Association brought together Nili Poynter of ChefReady; Sean Hubbard of Blue Island Oyster Bar; and Beth Gruitch of Rioja to talk about how they made virtual (or supplemental) concepts work. The Q&A (which covers marketing when you’re at the mercy of delivery apps, self-delivery, permitting, how to allocate your line to regular menu items versus ghost items, to-go booze, and more) starts at 30:22.

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com


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