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Ghost kitchens gain space with Walmart as McDonald’s leaves prime commercial kitchen space

by Desmond Thomas, Apr 26
1 minute read

Around 200 low-volume McDonald’s restaurants housed by Walmart closed in 2020. The retail giant is now replacing those empty spaces with ghost kitchens, a restaurant concept that allows consumers to order food from multiple restaurant brands at once with food cooked in a central kitchen with no dine-in option for the consumer.

white and black wooden cabinet

So what?

Ghost kitchens (also known as cloud kitchens, dark kitchens, or virtual kitchens) was named an 2021 emerging space by PitchBook and seem to be an attractive investment from a business standpoint as it reduces traditional operational costs such as rent and staffing. Could this be the same for sustainability as well? Could this rise in ghost kitchens reduce the amount of resources and space used by the restaurant industry in a significant way?

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by Desmond Thomas Spotted 2 signals

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  • JO Joy Green says:

    Interesting signal. Also worth mentioning the possible wider systemic effects of dark kitchens though if the sector gets too large – cultural loss if eat-in independent restaurants decline. Could be atomising and isolating. There is a risk of replicating the monopolistic dynamics of Amazon, except with platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

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