‘Dark kitchen’ chain functions with regional eating places to market over foodstuff shipping apps

The coronavirus has still left a lot of places to eat battling as the pandemic pressured them to briefly shut their doors and nonetheless has a lot of operating at a decrease capacity than regular.

Homeowners are looking for means to provide in far more income. Quick-relaxed Asian chain Wow Bao has one particular strategy: open up their cafe within an current cafe as a shipping and delivery-only “dark kitchen” eatery.

Wow Bao, which serves up steamed bao, potstickers, dumplings, rice and noodle bowls, declared on Wednesday that it has added 100 areas in just 6 months by partnering with other dining establishments. Its foods is provided through third-get together delivery expert services like UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates and Caviar.

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Geoff Alexander, president and CEO of Wow Bao, said the enterprise arrived up with the partnership strategy previous November.

“Although we did not envision this initiative as a response to the COVID-19 disaster, we are proud to say our dim kitchen area system is assisting operators to assist spend lease and use personnel in purchase to endure this challenging time,” Alexander said in a push launch.

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Wow Bao isn’t the only “virtual restaurant” to get edge of the proliferation of meal shipping companies in the course of the pandemic. Chuck E. Cheese has been selling pizza below the name Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings on Grubhub. An growing range of eateries work “ghost kitchens,” renting out kitchen room to other eating places or introducing other restaurant manufacturers to its offerings for takeout and shipping and delivery only. And there are also “cloud kitchens,” which get the job done solely with supply brands.

These types of deals aren’t just good for dining places seeing a slump in organization. The manufacturers they function with can use them to examination out their solutions in new marketplaces. The California-primarily based Lemonade Eating places recently opened its very first ghost kitchen area in Extended Seaside, permitting it to extend to the metropolis “in record time and with a really minimal expense,” co-CEO Anthony Pigliacampo explained to QSR Magazine.

“In just three months, we moved from internet site identification to providing food stuff to visitors,” Pigliacampo informed QSR. “This would have been difficult with a brick and mortar site.”

Wow Bao said its partnership is different from ghost kitchens due to the fact it ships frozen products to its associate places to eat to be ready by their kitchen staff.

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Edmund Woo, the proprietor of the Saskatoon Lodge in Greenville, S.C., and a Wow Bao lover, reported in a created assertion that the approach of integrating Wow Bao into his kitchen area was “seamless.”

“I have trained existing employees to deal with the output at virtually no incremental cost,” he stated. “The capacity to not only continue operating through these a vulnerable time, but to help boost margins, is instrumental to assist maintain business enterprise.”

Wow Bao reported its dark kitchens are now in far more than 55 metropolitan areas in 22 states and it plans to include 100 much more destinations by the conclude of the calendar year.