Interview Synopsis

Ghost kitchens – impact on food delivery & QSRs

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • North America

Third Bridge Forum interviewed a VP at Chick-fil-A Inc to gain his perspective on the impact that ghost kitchens are having on food delivery services and quick service restaurants (QSRs). The Interview discusses prominent ghost kitchen players such as Kitchen United and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens, as well as third-party delivery services such as GrubHub and Uber Eats.

The Emergence of QSR Competitors

The specialist outlined key trends and players in the QSR and ghost kitchen markets. While the Chick-fil-A VP suggested that the market in the US was still in its infancy, he noted that Europe and Asia – specifically China – were in the maturation stage. However, the specialist explained that a range of businesspeople, including independent entrepreneurs, real- estate developers and non-restaurateurs, are beginning to enter the space, meaning competition could become increasingly fierce for major players in the US. 

The specialist explained that the concept of ghost kitchens in the US is so new that the majority of QSR executive leaders are unaware of the trend existing. While third-party food delivery companies such as Uber Eats are more aware of the ghost kitchen concept, the specialist indicated that only a small minority of delivery companies will consider integrating vertically with a ghost kitchen so that they can operate their own kitchen. Considering the market is transforming daily, however, the specialist suggested that ghost kitchens could instead decide to add delivery services to their roster. 

Additionally, ghost kitchens in the food delivery space are unlikely to dismantle QSR players for several reasons. This includes the fact that collaboration between ghost kitchens and QSRs could improve labour efficiencies for the latter, which the specialist explained in further detail during the Interview. He also outlined the costs involved for QSRs to do this, as well as chef churn in ghost kitchens compared with quick-service restaurants. 

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge’s Ghost Kitchens – Impact on Food Delivery & QSRs Interview, click below to view the full transcript. 

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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