Marc and Chad Lore invest in Wonder, a New Jersey ghost kitchen.
By KATISHI MAAKE | Morning Brew | May 10, 2021
Restaurants may be welcoming back diners, but ghost kitchens aren’t going away. The global ghost kitchen market was worth $43 billion in 2019 and could reach $71 billion by 2027, according to an Allied Market Research report. Ghost kitchens operate without a storefront, providing delivery through an app.
Latest entrant: Former Walmart exec Marc Lore and his brother Chad are backing a food truck/ghost kitchen company called Wonder, which is being piloted in Westfield, NJ, sources told CNBC.
Wonder sources its entrées from top-tier restaurants and celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay Steak, Jonathan Waxman’s JBird, and Marc Murphy’s The Mainstay.
- Why a NYC suburb like Westfield? Because residents still want high-end dining options without the urban hustle and bustle.
- There are mixed reactions from the community, however, as CNBC notes.
Not going ghost
A March 2021 Retail Brew-Harris Poll survey data found that 60% of Americans are at least somewhat likely to continue ordering directly from restaurants or ghost kitchens once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Restaurateurs are taking notice. A Five Guys franchisee opened the chain’s first US ghost kitchen in Garland, TX, on May 1. And popular YouTuber MrBeast has cracked the ghost kitchen algorithm with 300+ delivery-only restaurants across the country, all of which have opened since December 2020.
Our takeaway: The spread of ghost kitchens is, in part, a reflection of the broader demand for contactless and delivery options across all food and retail segments.