IFA 2021: Virtual Restaurant Becomes a Business Expansion Tool – Small Business Large Business

IFA 2021: Virtual Restaurant Becomes a Business Expansion Tool - Small Business Large Business
Dark Kitchen (Photo: Rene Asmussen / Pexels)

Delivery Was already part of the routine Restaurant For some time, in most cases as an additional service in the salon. With him Universal epidemicThe sales channel went from supporting the hero in the balance sheets of many companies and helped popularize new business concepts Dark kitchen, Cloud kitchen and fully virtual restaurant.

The topic was first addressed in Virtual Edition International Franchise Association (IFA), This Thursday, February 18, in the panel “Virtual Restaurant: Interruption or Distraction?” (Virtual restaurant: dissolution or distraction? In free translation).

The meeting was moderated by Aziz Hashim, founder and CEO of restaurant consultancy Franklin Junction, and attended by Geoff Alexander, president of Wow Bao, Barry Thomas, global customer leader for the Coca-Cola company, Ashram Tran, commercial director for Dordash. took. And a senior executive at Sage Corporation, Franklin Junction.

IFA 2021: Aziz Hashim, Geoff Alexander, Barry Thomas, Ashley Tran and Rishi Nigam (Photo: Reproduction)
IFA 2021: Clockwise: Barry Thomas, Geoff Alexander, Rishi Nigam, Aziz Hashim and Ashley Tran (Photo: reproduction)

Everyone gave their perspective on the topic, but the reaction to the panel’s name provocation was a consensus: virtual restaurants are not a distraction or a passing thing. They are here to stay, either to increase franchisee’s income themselves or to create new business models.

For example, Wow Bao, which has been in existence since 2003 and started considering virtual restaurants in 2019, is now close to reaching 150 ghost kitchens in the United States, among other food establishments or hotels that are part of an operation. stands by.

Alexander says that, although rates and conditions are controversial, “delivery platforms such as DoorDash have helped restaurants establish themselves nationwide”. DoorDash recently announced the purchase of a “salt robot” in an effort to build its own virtual restaurant structure.

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Hashim talked about how the business model could be an ally for the franchise to test the new model before investing in the initial business. “It is possible to open a dark kitchen in a specific kitchen or share it in a specific location before investing thousands of dollars to open a full restaurant.”

Alexander explains that it was not only the epidemic companies, but also the people. Consumer behavior has changed and the way you eat, order food or reach your favorite restaurant will always go through delivery.

Thomas, from Coca-Cola, cited the opportunity to build the brand with complementary dishes within the franchise’s kitchens as a benefit of the business model, to increase revenue with lower costs. This practice has already been adopted by Brazilian brands as well.

In addition, virtual restaurants have more flexibility to test new menus each day. Hashim said, “And that’s what the consumer has always wanted.”

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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