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This article was published on January 24, 2017

Internet only ‘Ghost Restaurants’ are the next big thing

Internet only ‘Ghost Restaurants’ are the next big thing
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

It’s late, and you’re craving some food. After the inevitable back and forth with your significant other, you decide on a restaurant called Leafage, a a salad shop near Grand Central in New York City. Thing is, Leafage, doesn’t actually exist. It’s branding does, as do its Yelp reviews, but Leafage as a restaurant is merely an idea, a ‘ghost restaurant’ as they’re being called.

Leafage, one of a handful of restaurants owned by Green Summit — each with its own menu and branding — play host to more than 50 chefs in two kitchens around NYC. The company’s deliver-only model foregoes traditional seating and crams multiple “restaurants” into one kitchen — like Butcher Block (sandwiches) and Maya Blue (Mexican).

When partnered with delivery options like Seamless, UberEats, and GrubHub,  ghost restaurants can leverage the economy of scale by serving more meals with fewer of the headaches involved in traditional restaurants.

Lower costs for everything from decor to service personnel allow restaurants like Leafage to dip a toe in the water and fail fast should it not get sufficiently wet. A Green Summit Middle Eastern food concept failed shortly after launch, leaving the company on the hook for just $25,000 as opposed to the remainder of a lease, equipment liquidation, and having to fire staff.

Instead, Green Summit just cut their minor (in the restaurant world) losses, and moved on to the next restaurant concept. Disruption in the restaurant industry is rare, so scaling in a way that eliminates most of its traditional bottlenecks — all while tapping into an ever-growing field of on-demand delivery services — is something you’ll probably seeing a lot of in the near future.

via The Hustle

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