Did You Know These Celebrities Own Ghost Kitchens?

Have you ever considered what a group of big names such as Wiz Khalifa, MrBeast, Tyga, Mariah Carey, and Gwyneth Paltrow have in common? Well, for one, they are all famous celebrities and well known among their thousands of followers. The other reason might, or might not, come as a surprise. These personalities are all food-focused celebrities. In today's world, that means that they are all associated with a particular food concept. Can we then assume that these famous American rappers, YouTubers, song artists, and actresses have all become leading authorities in the food industry? In some cases, perhaps, but mostly this group and other well-known celebrities have all helped launch and partnered with a ghost kitchen for different reasons.

Eating a meal with your favorite celebrity's name attached to it is a big thing, right? It provides insight into the small details of their life, their likes, and dislikes. It also leverages the celebrity's personal brand and popularity.

Ghost Kitchens vs. Virtual Kitchens

The terms ghost kitchen and virtual kitchen are used interchangeably, yet there is a difference between the two names. A ghost kitchen literally means what the word suggests; it's a ghost, a shadow for something or someone else. It nonetheless exists, just not in the traditional sense of things. People who don't necessarily have their own restaurant can rent space from a third party. They can share the space with other chefs, cook different menus and sell and deliver the food on an online dining platform or another third-party food service, such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash.

On the other hand, a virtual kitchen is a restaurant that offers in-person dining along with online food deliveries or take-out.

Ghost and Virtual Kitchen Trends in 2021

Ghost kitchens are not an entirely new concept in food and dining; however, the recent COVID-pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to the change in the general populace's traditional behavior patterns. There was a staggering 169% rise in the number of restaurants that adopted online deliveries in the first month of the pandemic. Moreover, the demand for delivery mealshas grown exponentially over the past five years, 300% faster than in-person dining.

Restaurant owners and food franchises have had to adapt to the switch in traditional models; otherwise, they risk losing their businesses. In cases where establishments did close their doors, owners have had to explore new innovations to resume business and stay competitive, hence the increase in ghost and virtual kitchens. The benefits of a virtual kitchen indicate that this evolving trend makes good business sense and is here to stay. Let's consider a few of the pros and cons of ghost and virtual kitchens:

Advantages

  • Don't have to rely on feet-in the door
  • Save on expensive location costs
  • No serving staff
  • Lower overheads
  • Appeal to a broader customer base
  • Virtual kitchens can use the existing premises and staff
  • Augment the current brand

Disadvantages

  • Increased competition
  • No walk-in traffic
  • Relies heavily on technology use
  • Can be expensive if you have to include third-party delivery services
  • Location constraints

The advantages of running ghost kitchens certainly outweigh the disadvantages; however, in-person dining is also here to stay. One of the most prominent ghost and virtual kitchens trends in 2021 is partnering with food-focused celebrities to link to an existing restaurant or help launch a ghost kitchen. This concept is proving to be a win-win situation for both parties and is becoming increasingly popular.

Celebrities Who Own Ghost Kitchens

Many celebrities have recently launched ghost restaurants. Author and Emmy Award television presenter Guy Fieri owns Guy Fiery's Flavortown Kitchen, best known for its "Real Cheezy" burgers and "Bacon Mac N Cheese." YouTube superstar MrBeast launched MrBeast Burger in late 2020. Singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, who, by the way, loves baking, started Mariah's Cookies in late 2020. Another favorite is Rapper Tyga, who launched Tyga's Chicken Bites in July 2020, focusing on antibiotic-free, oven-baked, boneless chicken bites. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow's virtual restaurant, Goop, launched in March and is all about healthy eating delivered straight to your door.

Ghost Kitchen Start-up

Important to remember is that ghost kitchens or virtual restaurants are technology-driven. The focus is on both food and reliable technology. Even the best food will lose its competitive edge if it's not partnered with innovative distribution and delivery solutions. One example is restaurant software as a service (SaaS), which gives owners of virtual restaurants and ghost kitchen start-ups the option to pay a monthly subscription for Cloud Software rather than paying a traditional software license.

Whichever way you look at it, ghost and virtual kitchens have become an integral part of how we perceive modern dining and, at the same time, provide excellent opportunities for restaurants to thrive in the current market.

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