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The Latest Advancement in Ghost Kitchen Development: Parking Garages

Reef Technology capitalizes on its parking facility expertise to create ‘Reef Kitchens’.

For the last couple years, delivery (and third-party delivery, in particular) has been all the hype. But, as of recently, a newer aspect to food delivery is claiming the spotlight: ghost kitchens. Ghost kitchens, also known as cloud kitchens or dark kitchens, are physical locations designed to serve delivery-only concepts or serve as mobile order-only restaurants, with no storefronts or dining areas. The move has had a major impact on restaurant franchises, in particular QSRs and fast casual concepts, who have experienced steadily decreasing foot traffic in recent years.

A few months ago, major third-party delivery service DoorDash began its foray into ghost kitchens when it launched one in Silicon Valley for brands who wanted to expand their delivery reach but didn’t want to open an actual physical location. 

Now, there’s a new “ghost kitchen” operator in town and it’s taking over… parking garages. According to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), Reef Technology, a Miami-based parking facilities technology company is launching Reef Kitchens, a “hub for delivery-only ghost kitchens.” Reef Kitchens will put delivery-based ghost kitchens inside approximately 5,000 parking facilities that are already owned by Reef, in an effort to meet consumer demand for hot and fresh food whenever they want it.

Reef Kitchens calls their in-garage ghost kitchens “vessels” and already has partnerships with major food delivery services including Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub, according to NRN. Some vessels only house one brand, while others are capable of housing up to five different brands in one vessel, NRN says. 

“People don’t realize that with as little as three parking spaces we can put in a kitchen,” said Reef Technology Chief Marketing Officer Alan Cohen. “It’s not open to the public but inside is a full-blown operation with chefs and everyone you’d expect.”

However, don’t expect the Reef name to pop up on your third-party delivery apps because, according to Cohen, the goal is not to brand Reef itself, but to just get food products onto the platforms. 

Soon, consumers will be thinking of technology, food and delivery as one-in-the-same. And, apparently, there really is no limit to the potential (and location) of a ghost kitchen. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if/how a company tops this whole parking garage thing… Maybe an airplane?

Read the full NRN article here