The ghost kitchen is a creative response from the restaurant industry to the restrictions on in-person dining due to the Covid19 pandemic. However, this isn't an entirely new animal – some chefs were playing around with offering different concepts for carry-out using the same kitchen as their dine-in establishment. While in lockdown and with forced closures, however, many chefs and restauranteurs embraced the ghost kitchen trend as part of their culinary expression.
Today, we're looking at Camile-Thai, a sustainable-focused ghost kitchen, and their impact on their customers, their industry-leading sustainable practices, and their impact on consumer health.
Appreciating the innovation and success of Camille-Thai is hard to do without understanding what a ghost kitchen is.
Ghost kitchens are establishments that prepare take-out meals only – no in-person seating available. Many ghost kitchens are brick-and-mortar establishments that have the capability to produce more than one type of concept or cuisine, and some serve a couple of different owners. While some may have their own delivery service, using ghost kitchen technology, others may partner with third-party delivery services.
At the forefront of the restaurant, revolution are industry leaders Kitchen United and Asian food business Camile Food Group. Camile-Thai is a partnership between the two, focusing on creating a nutrition-led brand in the US. Kitchen United MIX landed in Chicago as a delivery and take-out only concept, pairing delicious, fresh ingredients with guilt-free nutrition.
The first location, in the Chicago Loop Kitchen Center, serves a plant-forward menu with a sustainable ethos. Food is made to order, ensuring quality and flavor. The expansion is planned to continue through 2021, with Chicago River North, Austin, TX, and Pasadena, CA, next on the list for the unique Camile-Thaighost kitchens.
Camile Thai opened its first restaurant in 2010, and since then, has expanded to over 40 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. The company quickly gained a reputation for pairing savvy food tech with delicious, sustainable ingredients and meals with the health of the diner in mind. As an early adopter of the hot food delivery model, Camile-Thai now serves over 10,000 nutritious meals every day to customers.
"Kitchen United is constantly evaluating new and innovative ways to support our restaurant partners, and working with Camile Thai to present licensing opportunities to operators within our kitchen centers looking to establish a delivery-only business, or build a new segment of their existing portfolio is a perfect illustration of that," said Atul Sood, Chief Business Officer of Kitchen United.
Camile Thai CEO, Brody Sweeney said: "We are excited to bring our concept to the U.S. and work closely with Kitchen United has given its definitive leadership position in the ghost kitchen industry, along with an impressive list of existing and prospective operator partners. The rise of the on-demand economy has driven a monumental shift in traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant service. Last year saw the most significant adoption of technology in our industry's history with volume digital food ordering and delivery at its core, and Camile Thai has been a first-mover in Europe. Additionally, we offer operator partners a flexible franchise model to position them for sustained success."
Kitchen United was founded in 2017 and has since become a leader in restaurant hub technology, turn-key commercial kitchen spaces, and streamlined logistics that allow foodservice owners and operators to expand into the growing of-site dining market. With the rise of delivery from Covid-19 shutdowns of in-person dining, this type of restaurant technology has become even more in demand, and a first-of-its-kind carryout experience. Kitchen United allows both emerging and existing restaurant brands to embrace new markets and grow revenue through their off-premise dining concepts. This is a value-driven and low-risk way to explore other concepts.
Camile offers more than 39 outlets, including seven in the city of London, and was founded in 2010 by Brosy Sweeny. The mission of Camile is to provide guests a healthy dining experience in the compost of their home, using a tech-centric approach. Leading-edge technology the company is exploring includes drone delivery, kitchen robotics, and cloud-based kitchens, elevating the ghost kitchen and ghost kitchen performance. With a commitment to sustainability, speed, and health, Camile manages to still deliver five-star meals. It was also the first in Europe to introduce 100% composable delivery packaging, important to many consumers.
When you opt for Saas, or Software as a Service technology instead of a traditional Point-Of-Sales system, you're both reducing the overhead of purchasing your own POS and benefiting from using leading-edge technology plus faster service if the system has issues. SaaS technology is updated consistently and works perfectly with ghost kitchens since it integrates so well with online ordering. The best customer experience includes accuracy and sustainability, and the restaurants with the best potential embrace both.