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Top Ghost Kitchen Franchise Opportunities of 2022

Famous Toastery, Famous Dave’s, The Hatchery and Wendy’s all continue to meet consumer demand by implementing the ghost kitchen concept into their franchise model.

Despite the name, ghost kitchens are nothing to fear. In fact, these food establishments are an efficient way for many restaurants to operate – with no need for waiters, dining rooms, parking lots or, really, any public presence at all except on food-delivery apps. Ghost kitchen concepts thrived at the onset of the pandemic in particular and continue to be a popular concept as people increasingly demand convenience, speed and mobile ordering. 

While varying restaurants have had success with the concept, we have identified our favorite franchises that thrived by rolling out ghost kitchens and continuing to serve delicious food to customers. 

Famous Toastery

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Famous Toastery is indeed famous for its casual, sit-down, high-quality breakfast, brunch and lunch locations. However, the brand saw an opportunity to meet the needs of its diners at the height of the pandemic and opened a ghost kitchen in 2020. 

The kitchen, based out of Warrington, Virginia, operates on the same scratch-kitchen model that all the other locations do to exceed expectations of hungry customers – regardless of whether they’re in the restaurant or at their own kitchen table. 

Famous Dave’s*

Famous Dave’s, the fast-growing barbecue franchise, entered the ghost kitchen scene in 2018, when the brand launched a concept called Burgers and Sandwiches by Famous Dave’s. While the brand was well known for barbecue, it also had many other delicious menu items it wanted to highlight on third-party delivery platforms. Now, the brand is 20 ghost kitchens strong – all of which are operated by pre-existing Famous Dave’s franchisees who own other restaurants out of which they can run the ghost kitchen. 

In 2020, the brand continued to expand its offerings via ghost kitchen by launching another concept called Hayward's Hen House to enter the delivery-chicken segment. As of 2022, the brand’s latest ghost-kitchen concept is $5 Burgers, a concept based around value burgers. 

The Hatchery

  • Unit count: Available upon inquiry.
  • Start-up costs: Available upon inquiry.

The Hatchery, a fast-casual concept offering a take on chicken from scratch that is 100% natural and hormone-free, originally started as a ghost kitchen in Tampa, Florida, and launched four additional ghost kitchens in the Tampa Bay area (Northdale, Apollo Beach, Citrus Park and New Port Richey). The ghost kitchens all operate out of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s locations and offer a popular lineup of chicken dishes, signature sandwiches, chicken tenders, smoked wings, salads and a variety of dipping sauces. 


  • Unit count: 6,500+
  • Start-up costs: $2M-$3.5M

Changing the game for fast-food giants, in 2021, Wendy’s announced that it would open 700 delivery-only ghost kitchens by 2025 in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada by partnering with REEF Technologies in a ghost kitchen endeavor. Additionally, the burger chain had planned to open 50 of those locations by the end of 2021.

Wendy’s ghost kitchen expansion with REEF will allow the company to expand more into urban locations while bringing in new franchisees because of the lower cost of investment. Also, as reported in CNBC, the start-up will also pay slightly higher royalty fees.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.