A Ghost Restaurant Can Maximize Efficiencies and Increase Profits

The shift that has occurred in the takeout, delivery and catering space over the last few years is nothing short of monumental and how we run restaurants is fundamentally changing as a result. On this season on The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, we have covered in-depth the principles of leadership, staffing, differentiating your foodservice channels, and where to strategically invest in your off-premise program because the off-premise paradigm shift is more significant than the one saw in 2010 with fast casual.

The last major shift in the hospitality industry resulted in the creation of hundreds of fast casual brands in the mold of Chipotle and Panera Bread. One thing that we can credit to the fast casual segment is that it changed the look and model of restaurants forever with a focus on speed but also not willing to compromise on quality. Fast casual proved a model that some said was not possible and changed the landscape of the restaurant industry.

Today, off-premise driven by technology, and a generation that grew up on convenience is changing the restaurant model again, likely forever. By now, we have all heard the term ghost restaurants or virtual restaurants, and that this is the next big thing. The definition of a ghost restaurant depends on who you talk to but basically, it is defined as a restaurant that only offers delivery — no storefront. The savvy restaurants are using this model to their advantage, and more innovation around ghost restaurants is happening all the time.

Channel differentiation and maximizing efficiencies are key to generating profits with your off-premise channels. Assuming your restaurant is already built and a major renovation may be too costly, so how can you do it? Kitchen Podular, partner of Monkey Group, is an innovative company that builds customized modular kitchen solutions. These kitchen solutions can include a make-line for food preparation and a service window to divert off-premise orders away from the retail wait area, aka your very own ghost restaurant. Mike Manion, CEO of Kitchen Podular, joins Erle Dardick and Valerie Killifer to talk about the restaurants of the future and how they will operate.

Show Notes

15:26 - What does it mean to isolate production lines?
20:54 - How can existing restaurants use Kitchen Podular to fulfill the 5 pillars?
27:35 - The old restaurant model is getting turned on its head.

OO:46 - The supply chain is the key to keep up with market demand.
03:59 - Mike Manion, CEO of Kitchen Podular, welcome to the show!
09:41 - How will ghost kitchens or ghost restaurants impact off-premise operations?

 

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How Sweetgreen is Becoming the Next Fast Casual Unicorn

On this episode of the Barron Report Live, host Paul Barron discusses which wing-focused restaurant brand is taking on pizza for the next Super Bowl, the fire sale of Diageo’s liquor brands, and how Sweetgreen becoming the next food unicorn in the fast casual industry.

Wings Take on Pizza in Super Bowl Challenge
At :35 - Paul discusses the growth of the popular takeout brand, Wingstop. The chicken-wing fast casual chain has seen a 15.5 percent increase in annual growth last quarter, with systemwide same-store sales also growing by 6.3 percent, and its net income jumping 33.8 percent.

The increase in store count to 1,215 global locations, is pretty major move compared to growth in the fast casual segment is slowing down overall. Additionally, the company’s strategy and lack of direct competition are leading them to take over the takeout industry over pizza.

Diageo to Sell Off 19 of Its Brands
At 5:00 - Paul discusses Diageo’s, the world’s largest spirits producer, decision to sell 19 of its lower-end spirits brands to Sazerac for $550 million. The strategy appears to allow Diageo to focus on its premium labels.

This decision will allow the company to take on the trending craft spirits market. Paul has seen firsthand when filming the Foodable show “Across the Bar,” just how often mixologists have opted for a more unique craft cocktail brand.

Sweetgreen to Become the Next Fast Casual Unicorn?
At 6:31 - Paul discusses the biggest news of the week — how salad chain Sweetgreen is quickly becoming the next fast casual market leader.

Foodable identified early on that this concept would be a breakout brand in the fast casual market. With Sweetgreen’s HQ move to Los Angeles in 2016 to join other tech-focused restaurants that are raising money in private rounds at valuations of $1 billion or more, they are here to stay. “CNBC” recently reported that Sweetgreen is nearing a $200 million investment with Fidelity Investments.

The key to Sweetgreen’s success like other fast casual stars is to have a unique,  Xactor. For the salad chain, it’s all about lifestyle. Showcased in previous events like the Sweetlife festival, Sweetgreen is able to connect with their consumers celebrating passion and purpose.

Another brand that has been able to achieve this in the past is Chipotle, controlling the burrito business with ambiance, food, and environment compared to Baja Fresh.

In recent news revolving Chipotle, hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management has sold another large chunk of its Chipotle Mexican Grill investment. The affiliated entities have reportedly sold a total of 118,307 shares of the fast casual chain for a total of $55.8 million.

Watch the live podcast above to learn Paul’s predictions for the fast casual market and what he believes to be next for these two stars, what other factors are playing into Wingstop’s impressive acceleration and its edge in takeout, and to find out which brands are being sold to Sazerac.

 
 

Across Continents: Off-Premise Comparisons At Home and Abroad

Across Continents: Off-Premise Comparisons At Home and Abroad
  • The off-premise conundrum for operators is similar in the U.S. compared to the U.K. with 3rd-party marketplaces wining when it comes to your customer information.

  • How can operators take control back?

Whether you’re are in the UK or the US, technology is driving innovation.  But where are we all going and are these technological solutions helping our restaurant businesses? In off-premise, delivery services and 3rd-party marketplaces are the disruptors everyone is talking about, at least over the last five years. Restaurant operators think they have little choice except to jump on the delivery brandwagon or be left behind in its wake. On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering show, Valerie, and Erle sit down with Peter Backman, a U.K.-based consultant who specializes in the eating out market overseas. Peter, Valerie, and Erle discuss how the 5 Pillars of Successful Takeout, Delivery & Catering can reposition brands across the world to take the wheel. This discussion includes the onslaught of independent, aggregated, and third-party delivery providers, and the new paradigm of off-premise operations in restaurants at home and abroad. 

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