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Virtual Restaurants: New Business Models, New Opportunities

November 2022

Food delivery has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, forcing restaurant operators to innovate and rethink sales through this channel. In the new era of delivery, concepts such as ghost kitchens and virtual brands have emerged to optimise processes and revolutionise logistics, offering new strategies to maximise profits. Virtual brands allow greater flexibility, enabling more players to enter the foodservice space, experiment, and find groundbreaking solutions that fit their needs.

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Delivery

This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

Virtual brands and ghost kitchens work together with different purposes

Ghost kitchens aim to optimise distribution points in delivery, but virtual brands aim to optimise the physical space of ghost kitchens and maximise its profitability.

Period of experimentation

The format allows operators to experiment on a variety of solutions that align with the needs of different types of players that wish to launch foodservice products to an online audience.

More virtual brands raise the competition in delivery

In the forecast period, we will see more brands entering the delivery space coming from foodservice as well as food-related sectors. Operators will need to strategise to get noticed in an already saturated market filled with promotions.

Online audiences allow constant improvement

By having online interactions with customers, virtual brands can seize on information to cater to the specific needs of an audience and have constant feedback on products.

Key findings
Differences between virtual restaurants, ghost kitchens and physical restaurants
The disruption of virtual brands in foodservice
Strategising on virtual brands and finding equilibrium to become profitable
Types of virtual restaurants
Opportunity for non-restaurant players to sell in foodservice
Seizing on packaged and prepared products
Case Study: The Ice Cream Shop becomes the first store-hailing brand
Case Study: La Crianza will relaunch its virtual brand including more packaged food products
Opportunities and challenges for non foodservice players: Packaged food based
Benefiting from curated social audiences to increase transaction volume
Consumers seek for recommendations in social media when selecting a restaurant
Creating regional virtual brands through social media reach
Case Study: Fasfu virtual brand shows the untapped potential for social media influencers
Opportunities and challenges for non foodservice players: social media based
A fragmented industry is an opportunity for chained operators
Last mile apps become restaurant discovery platforms for consumers
Case Study: Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings thrives by distancing from its parent brand audience
Case Study: It’s Just Wings paves the way for hyper-focused food type virtual brands
Consumers expect brand variety in markets with high delivery demand
Reasons to incorporate virtual brands vs expanding through ghost kitchens
Examples of virtual chains owned by chained operators or franchises
Opportunities and challenges for chain spin-offs
Restaurants can optimise space and time by adding virtual brands focused on cuisine types
Virtual brand companies offer seamless integration and relatively low risk expansion
Case study: Nextbite virtual brands are designed for different daily occasions
Case study: Sodexo partners with Peckwater brands to seize upon long idle hours
Opportunities and challenges for business enhancers
Key takeaways

Consumer Foodservice

Consumer foodservice is composed of cafés/bars, full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, self-service cafeterias and street stalls/kiosks.

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