68. Ghost Kitchens Go Global | JustKitchen

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In this episode of Accelerate series for the Takeout, Delivery, and Catering podcast series, host Paul Barron chats with Michael Liu, executive vice president of JustKitchen to dive into the ghost kitchen and virtual brand phenomenon that has been happening around the world.
JustKitchen is an operator of ghost kitchens currently operating twenty restaurants in Taiwan and two restaurants in Hong Kong and they use a hub and spoke food delivery model and is currently expanding to the Philippines and Singapore.
Liu says, most of the JustKitchen executives come from a food and beverage background and his background, the delivery aggregator industry. When choosing brands to partner with, Liu says, “we were able to collect a lot of data to look at what is going to be an emergent trend in terms of food delivery service, what kind of brands, what kind of food that we're serving but really just studying the data.”
The process to develop a virtual brand for JustKitchen starts with a lot of data scraping, looking at restaurants and delivery and then they forecast. Liu says, “by applying some sort of algorithm to look at what kind of volume they’re doing so basically just trying to meet that demand versus actually creating one.” JustKitchen offers several brands including Smith & Wollensky and TGI Fridays.
In terms of ghost kitchens Liu says, “I do think that's definitely going to be a growing trend and I think another really big issue is definitely inflation of food cost, labor shortage and that gives not a lot of options to the traditional restaurant operators to operate at what they used to do. So I think virtual brand or cloud kitchen really gives that extra edge for them to really go to the next level to increase their income to increase their average ticket size or you know even just to increase their efficiencies.”
To learn more about JustKitchen’s partnership with DJ Khaled’s Another Wing, Liu’s insights on celebrity brands, and third party partner data and how to decentralize from the food delivery aggregators, listen to this episode of Accelerate.

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