Tech Tracker: Kitchen United CEO gives details on massive cross-industry fundraising

Tech Tracker rounds up what’s happening in the technology sector of the restaurant industry, including news from restaurants, vendors, digital platforms, and third-party delivery companies. This month, our main story comes from an interview with Kitchen United CEO Michael Montagano, who gave some insight into the ghost kitchen company’s recent $100 million fundraising round, with …

The Uber of ghost kitchens sucks, apparently

For some budding restauranteurs, CloudKitchens might sound like a great opportunity to get off the ground. The service, owned by Uber founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, promises restaurateurs delivery-only kitchens in rented warehouse spaces with low startup fees. But a report from Insider reveals that many CloudKitchens operators are struggling to keep their business alive due to a …

Catapult Concepts Building a New Model for Virtual Restaurants

Virtual restaurants are going through rapid evolutions as this subset of the restaurant industry matures. By focusing on operational simplicity, Catapult Concepts offers a new method of operating sub brands that the founder says is exceptionally easy and truly incremental. Founder and CEO Jake Schostak knows restaurants very well. He grew up in the restaurant …

GRUBHUB IS LAUNCHING A VIRTUAL BRAND

As more restaurants add virtual brands to their kitchens, Grubhub is joining the scrum with a delivery-only concept of its own. MasterChef Table was created in partnership with contestants from the long-running cooking show of the same name. It will offer a menu of familiar foods with a “MasterChef spin,” the company said, though it …

Report: 41% of independent restaurants operate virtual brands

Dive Brief: Forty-one percent of independent restaurants currently operate virtual brands to leverage persistent consumer delivery demand, according to a report commissioned by Grubhub and executed by Technomic, which surveyed 350 independent operators from Jan. 20-28, 2022. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents report their virtual restaurants are permanent additions, and 46% plan to open three or more …

Forward Kitchens cooks up $2.5M to transform existing kitchens into digital storefronts

Forward Kitchens was working quietly on its digital storefront for restaurants and is now announcing a $2.5 million seed round. Raghav Poddar started the company two years ago and was part of the Y Combinator Summer 2019 cohort. Poddar told TechCrunch he has been a foodie his entire life. Lately, he was relying on food delivery …

Waitr Announces New “Ghosts” Restaurants To Platform In New Deal With Nextbite

LAFAYETTE, LA – Lafayette-based Waitr announced it has expanded its partnership with the virtual restaurant company Nextbite. The updated deal adds even more of Nextbite’s delivery-only restaurants to the Waitr platform – significantly increasing customer options. New virtual restaurants – also known as ghost kitchens – that will soon be available are TZKi, Veg-e-licious, Hatch House, Crack’t and Lucky Dragon Fried Rice. …

Waitr partners with Virtual Dining Concepts

Dive Brief: Waitr has partnered with Virtual Dining Concepts to offer dozens of VDC’s virtual restaurant brands, which include MrBeast Burger, Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen and Buddy V’s Cake Slice, on its delivery app. The partnership also includes a referral agreement allowing Waitr’s existing restaurant partners to add VDC’s virtual brands to their operations. This deal reflects the …

TikTok is launching delivery-only restaurants across the US in March

TikTok is preparing to launch a new service that will turn its viral food videos into meals you can actually order and enjoy. The social app is partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts and Grubhub to launch “TikTok Kitchen”-branded delivery-only restaurants across the United States next year, as first reported by Bloomberg. The menu at the restaurants will draw …

The new restaurant that just delivered dinner could be a spinoff of one of these popular chains

Virtual brands are restaurants that exist only on third-party delivery apps. Their creators use existing restaurant kitchens to whip up orders from a menu that was designed for off-premise customers. Pizza, chicken wings and burgers are popular because those foods travel well. DoorDash delivery personSource: DoorDash A few years ago, established restaurant companies were creating new …