Ghost Kitchen to Open at Raleigh-Durham Airport

Air travelers can order on an app and pick up via QR code.

September 21, 2021

RDU Airport with airplane Overhead

MORRISVILLE, N.C.—The Raleigh-Durham International Airport is turning a former restaurant space into a ghost kitchen that will serve meals from several local and national brand-name eateries, reports the News & Observer.

The ghost kitchen will be built and run by REEF, the largest virtual kitchen operator in North America, and Jason Johnson, founder of H.U.B.B. Kitchens.

“We feel like this virtual food hall opportunity will be a game-changer and blaze a trail of offering something new to airport travelers,” Johnson said.

Customers can order breakfast, lunch or dinner via app or a kiosk and then use a QR code to open a locker when the food is ready. They can even order on the app before they get to the airport.

Dining options have been decreasing for air travelers during the pandemic. Though many airport restaurants have opened, their hours of operation have been limited due to the inability to staff locations.

The virtual or ghost kitchen model requires less overall staffing, since there is no front-of-the-house staff needed,” said David Freedman, the airport’s chief revenue officer. “This helps to create a bit more operating margin and allows the virtual food hall team to pay a premium wage to attract and retain staff.”

Starting wages for kitchen workers will range from $20 to $23 an hour.

NACS Magazine explored ghost kitchens and how they are a viable solution to broaden the reach of foodservice. And in “Code Switch,” NACS Magazine examined the renewed embrace of QR codes in convenience retail.

Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on foodservice, including these sessions developed by retailers for retailers: