ROSEMONT, Ill.—US Foods, a food distributor with more than 350,000 national products and its own “exclusive brand” items, has announced it is supporting the “ghost kitchen” trend to help its restaurant clients generate more off-premise business, according to Restaurant Business Online.
The Illinois-based company has not created a physical ghost kitchen where meals are prepared for delivery. Instead, US Foods has developed a program to help clients identify foodservice opportunities and determine the best process of launching their own virtual operations.
The new program includes “proprietary technology” to identify the most successful ghost concepts based on local market conditions, digital marketing support, menu creation and optimization help. In addition, US Foods chefs have designed recipes that focus on profitability and trends. The company said that with the quick start-up guidance, operators can be up and running in “a matter of weeks.”
“The Ghost Kitchens program was developed in response to growing interest among our customers, but we’ve also been tracking the trend, and ghost kitchens are projected to reach a $1 trillion global market by 2030, making them an attractive concept for operators even after dine-in restrictions are lifted,” said Jim Osborne, senior vice president of customer strategy and innovation, US Foods.
Few trends have been as prominent during the pandemic as ghost kitchens, as operators respond to the increased demand for food delivery. Brands ranging from Fazoli’s, Dog Haus and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit have announced their own virtual kitchen initiatives.