Ghost kitchens are the hottest trend in hospitality even though they, disappointingly, involve no spirts or hauntings. Instead, they are food brands of delivery-only meals. So, no storefront or indoor seating, but they often work with established brick-and-mortar restaurants for the actual food prep. It can be a good use of a professional kitchen that isn’t getting consistent use. Anyway, for brewpubs out there interested in trying a ghost kitchen partnership, hospitality tech startup Bbot launched an all-in-one virtual brand platform to improve the overall ghost kitchen experience.
Despite the rapid adoption of ghost kitchen and virtual brand models, the technology is fragmented, with businesses piecing together different software solutions to build what they need, often at an increased cost to the owner. Bbot identified the most common problems faced by these budding brands and developed custom software that removes the biggest barriers that currently exist for ghost kitchens and operators. Craft beer spots already working with Bbot include Jester King, Pearl Brewery (at Pearl Food Hall) and Little Dry Creek Brewery.
“The pandemic accelerated the growth of ghost kitchens and virtual brands, as consumers opted for takeout and delivery instead of on premise dining,” said Chris Lovett, Director of Ghost Kitchens. “At Bbot, we’re ahead of the curve. Our new system helps ghost kitchen operators handle the added bandwidth of new orders. With order aggregation, multi-vendor ordering, and first-party delivery, our goal is to help businesses maximize profit margins with as little added lift as possible.”
Bbot’s online ordering system, which caters to both first- and third-party delivery, allows users to host their own digital delivery from a branded menu and send auto-updates to third-party platforms, creating a simpler and more user-friendly experience.
“This technology is the next step for the restaurant industry and comes at a pivotal time, as operators enter another COVID-19 winter in which delivery will be key,” said Steve Simoni, CEO of Bbot. “Previously, ghost kitchens were not being served in a way that met the flexibility they demanded. Bbot’s all-in-one platform will handle the who, what, and where that’s required for guest ordering. As a dedicated partner of ghost kitchens and virtual brands, our goal is to take the technology burden off their shoulders, so they can focus on marketing strategies and other areas of their business.”
This new platform is suitable for businesses of all sizes as well, helping both the mom and pops find new revenue streams to support the demands of today’s consumer, as well as supporting larger brands in a pivot to a more flexible business model.
“Bbot’s technology has been key for building our digital food community in North Carolina,” said Jen Classic, Director of Technology for The City Kitch. “Their flexible tech makes it easy to launch a virtual brand and manage orders through a variety of channels.”