DoorDash Debuts its First Ghost Kitchen Concept

DoorDash, the San Francisco-based delivery app, announced the opening of DoorDash Kitchens in Redwood City, Calif. It’s the company’s first shared kitchen commissary, providing cooking space for four existing restaurant concepts under one roof. The spin here: it’s pick-up and delivery only. 

It’s part of the growing national trend of “ghost kitchens” and “virtual restaurants,” which allow restaurants to expand their existing offerings without expanding their kitchens—or do away with the dining room entirely—enabling app-only, delivery-only concepts. Other delivery apps like Grubhub and Uber Eats are working with various delivery-only restaurant concepts as well. 

"We are constantly working on innovations that help merchants find new, meaningful ways to reach customers and run their businesses more efficiently," said Fuad Hannon, who heads New Business Verticals at DoorDash.

DoorDash Kitchens opened with regional restaurant chains Nation's Giant Hamburgers, plus smaller local chains like Rooster & Rice and Humphry Slocombe, as well as rapidly expanding national franchise The Halal Guys as its first merchants. All have multiple brick-and-mortar locations in the Bay Area, but the DoorDash Kitchens space allows them to extend their delivery reach across seven Bay Area markets and extends their ability to accept pick up orders to another six area markets. 

“We were impressed by the overall partnership and scale DoorDash could reach with this concept,” Min Park, Chief Financial Officer of Rooster & Rice said in a press release. “It helps us test out demand in new markets, reaching new customers and areas quickly."

The company says it worked with the merchants to co-design the kitchen and customize the space to each merchants’ individual needs. DoorDash Kitchens provides the infrastructure, maintenance, marketing, and last-mile logistics, letting the restaurants just concentrate on the menu, according to its press release.

DoorDash Kitchens is the latest third-party delivery provider to join the virtual trend. This year, for instance, Grubhub partnered with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, the Chicago-based multiconcept operator, to create Whole30 Delivered, a kitchen that delivers app-connected customers meals that adhere to the popular diet program. They also partnered for Bon Appetit Delivered—a delivery-only concept that brings the publication’s most popular recipes to customer’s doors.

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