ALEXANDRIA, Va.—A Plano, Texas, Walmart is getting a commercial ghost kitchen inside the store and will sell food from nationally known restaurants via delivery and to-go, reports the Dallas Morning News.
The kitchen will open this summer, and the owners of the restaurant want customers to feel like they’re in a virtual dining hall. There will be food from 15-28 restaurants prepared in one kitchen, with menu items including Quiznos sandwiches, Cheesecake Factory desserts and food from Saladworks, Umami Burger and others. The menu will include “greatest hits” from each brand instead of entire menus.
The owners of the restaurant, Canadian company Ghost Kitchen Brands and Dallas-Fort Worth restaurateurs Mohammad Qasim and Joon Choe, decided to go with Walmart because of its built-in customer base.
“If you walk into the Walmart, where you used to see a McDonald’s or a Burger King or a Subway, you will now see a restaurant, Ghost Kitchen Brands,” Qasim told the Morning News. “You’ll have a touch screen where you’ll walk in and place your order through our proprietary technology. You can go do your shopping, and on the way back you can pick up your to-go order.”
For delivery, the restaurant plans to partner with major delivery brands like Uber Eats and DoorDash. Qasim told the Morning News that this ghost kitchen format allows customers to order from multiple restaurants on the same tab.
“It’s allowing for a lot more variety than they traditionally would get,” Qasim said. “Now, a family can choose multiple genres of food and pay for one delivery.”
Last year, Ghost Kitchen opened its first location inside a Walmart store in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, and other companies have also formed partnerships around ghost kitchens, including Kroger and ClusterTruck, which joined forces in 2020 to open two ghost kitchens at Kroger stores in Columbus and Indianapolis. Restaurants have teamed up with DoorDash and other delivery services to deliver meals from ghost kitchens.
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.
Retailers thinking about establishing ghost kitchens and a reliable delivery platform can read “Ghost Kitchens” to learn how they are a viable solution to broaden the reach of foodservice.