Why Ghost Kitchens May Be the Future of Foodservice

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Why Ghost Kitchens May Be the Future of Foodservice
Crave is partnering with Seattle's iconic Elliott's Oyster House restaurant

A Boise, Idaho, startup is looking to turn the food delivery scene on its head with ghost kitchens and chef-driven partnerships.

Crave Delivery is looking to "elevate expectations" in the food delivery space by creating a combined ghost kitchen collective and delivery company. Crave plans to partner with higher-end restaurants across the country on recipes, cook their recipes with their own chefs in ghost kitchens, and deliver the meals within a half-hour.

Crave said that by partnering with 16 celebrated chefs and restaurateurs in these shared kitchens, tailoring menus for delivery and managing it all through proprietary technology, the company is able to improve the way that customers experience in-home dining. Initial restaurant partners include Ethan Stowell's ESR@HOME, Scott Crawford's Crawford Cookshop, Seattle's iconic Elliott's Oyster House and San Francisco favorite Betelnut. 

"As food delivery apps and remote kitchens with hundreds of restaurants continue their rapid expansion throughout dense urban cores, Crave has followed the data and been focused on building the platform necessary to take proven restaurants and chefs into the fastest-growing regions - places where urban customers are relocating to raise families, work remotely and build businesses in growing cities," said a company statement. "Our markets target customers who have high expectations for quality delivery and takeout options that, until now, haven't existed."

The phenomenon of ghost kitchens has been an increasingly viable business model for some chefs and restaurant concepts for the past several years. Now, with the pandemic, as most consumers stay home and many order takeout meals, these kinds of companies are poised to accelerate their growth in a way that could forever change the foodservice industry.

Crave is launching a limited dinner-only service on June 1 in Boise before expanding nationally to more than 50 of the nation's top-trending cities in the next three years. 

Crave's platform may be a game-changer for high-caliber restaurants. With food delivery apps and remote kitchens proving not to be a viable option for higher-quality restaurants, the Crave team has brought to life a solution that looks through the lens of the restaurants. Other food delivery companies form a barrier between the restaurant and the consumer, creating a disconnect that often leaves both groups dissatisfied. Crave said that it and and its restaurant partners work in concert to ensure that the chefs who are creating the food stay connected with the customers who are enjoying it. 

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