Restaurants don’t need dining rooms anymore.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants across the country have been forced to close their dining rooms and focus on delivery and take-out orders only. This has seemingly created a new trend in the restaurant industry where restaurants no longer have actual restaurants.
Delivery-only brands have seen significant growth during the pandemic, AP News reports. These restaurant brands are unique in that they typically operate out of another restaurant’s kitchen and focus entirely on fulfilling delivery orders.
Many major chains have launched their own delivery-only brands, including Applebee’s (Cosmic Wings), Chili’s (It’s Just Wings), TGI Fridays (Conviction Kitchen) and several others. Independent restaurants have gotten in on the trend as well.
The news outlet reports that Uber Eats has more than 10,000 delivery-only restaurants on its platform, which is up from just 3,000 in 2019. These restaurants tend to have more focused menus than the traditional restaurants they borrow kitchen space from.
Josh Phillips, owner of a Mexican restaurant in Washington D.C. named Espita, spoke with AP about the delivery-only restaurant he opened out of Espita’s kitchen. Ghostburger reportedly only cost Phillips $2,000 to launch.
According to him, it currently brings in about $40,000 a week. According to Phillips, the delivery-only restaurant has helped his business become “more profitable today” than it’s ever been.
These restaurants face some challenges, however. Marketing for them can reportedly be difficult, as they don’t have traditional storefronts to attract customers. Another issue they face is that some customers don’t always realize that they’re ordering from a restaurant operating out of another’s kitchen. This can apparently lead to situations where people think they’re ordering from a new local place only to discover they’re actually buying food from a big chain.