‘Dark kitchen’ chain functions with regional dining places to offer over foods delivery apps

Mark A. Carlson

The coronavirus has still left lots of restaurants struggling as the pandemic forced them to quickly shut their doorways and however has quite a few working at a lessen potential than usual.

Homeowners are looking for methods to convey in more profits. Speedy-relaxed Asian chain Wow Bao has a single concept: open their cafe inside of an present restaurant 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 additional 100 destinations in just six months by partnering with other places to eat. Its meals is provided by way of 3rd-social gathering shipping services like UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates and Caviar.

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

“Although we did not imagine this initiative as a reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, we are very pleased to say our darkish kitchen area platform is assisting operators to assistance shell out lease and hire personnel in buy to endure this difficult time,” Alexander stated in a push launch.

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Wow Bao is not the only “virtual restaurant” to get advantage of the proliferation of meal delivery services during the pandemic. Chuck E. Cheese has been promoting pizza below the title Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings on Grubhub. An escalating number of eateries function “ghost kitchens,” leasing out kitchen house to other restaurants or adding other cafe makes to its choices for takeout and supply only. And there are also “cloud kitchens,” which operate completely with delivery makes.

These kinds of promotions aren’t just very good for dining places viewing a slump in enterprise. The manufacturers they operate with can use them to take a look at out their products and solutions in new marketplaces. The California-primarily based Lemonade Restaurants lately opened its first ghost kitchen in Very long Beach front, permitting it to expand to the metropolis “in record time and with a really lower financial commitment,” co-CEO Anthony Pigliacampo advised QSR Journal.

“In just 3 months, we moved from web site identification to delivering meals to company,” Pigliacampo told QSR. “This would have been difficult with a brick and mortar web-site.”

Wow Bao explained its partnership is different from ghost kitchens since it ships frozen items to its husband or wife eating places to be prepared by their kitchen staff.


Edmund Woo, the owner of the Saskatoon Lodge in Greenville, S.C., and a Wow Bao husband or wife, mentioned in a created assertion that the course of action of integrating Wow Bao into his kitchen area was “seamless.”

“I have properly trained present staff members to tackle the production at nearly no incremental value,” he mentioned. “The capacity to not only go on functioning in the course of these types of a vulnerable time, but to assist raise margins, is instrumental to assist keep company.”

Wow Bao claimed its darkish kitchens are now in more than 55 towns in 22 states and it ideas to add 100 extra locations by the conclusion of the calendar year.

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