Walmart expands its relationship with a Canadian ghost food operator in the United States.
The discount giant will open its first ghost kitchen operated by Platform Ghost Kitchens Brands in its Rochester, New York store. The location builds on an existing collaboration between Walmart Canada and the Scalable “ghost kitchen”. The Rochester Walmart location will offer meal pickup or delivery available up to 25 brands.
A ghost kitchen is the restaurant equivalent of a dark store – a place that prepares food for delivery, without providing a catering service. While the concept has been around for several years, ghost kitchens are gaining momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic as more consumers turn to online delivery of ready meals for consumption at home.
[Read more: Retailers extend their presence with ghost kitchens]
This expanded partnership will see Ghost Kitchens Brands open ghost kitchens in additional locations in U.S. Walmart stores over the next few months and into 2022. Expansion is slated to include stores in Texas, California, Illinois and Georgia, among other states. The Walmart Canada and Ghost Kitchens brands are also currentlyfor one-stop food pickup and delivery at a store in St. Catharines, Ontario. The retailer plans to open more Canadian ghost kitchens in two stores in Ontario and two stores in Quebec in the coming months.
Walmart’s rollout of ghost kitchens to U.S. stores also dovetails with Nathan’s Famous plan develop its brand through ghost kitchens. Nathan’s Famous, best known for its hot dogs and cracked fries, has partnered with Ghost Kitchens Brands to open 100 non-traditional locations by the end of 2021. Sixty of the locations will be in the US, the majority live. inside Walmart stores; 40 will be in Canada.
Brands available in the Ghost Kitchen at Walmart Rochester include, but are not limited to, Amaya Indian, Beaver Tails, Big Chicken, Cinnabar, Costa Coffee, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Fries of the World, Frutta Bowls, Funnel Cake, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Lola’s Latin Food, Monster Cupcakes, Nathan’s Famous, Pepe’s Perogies, Quzinos, Rouge Bull, Saladworks, Slush Puppie, Tazo Bubble Tea, The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Wings of New York, Wow Bao and Yogen Früz.
“We pride ourselves on having the highest standards for our services. Our business is founded on providing innovative offerings that give our customers the experience they are looking for, ”said Darryl Spinks, Senior Manager, Retail Services, Walmart US“ We are delighted to expand our relationship with Ghost Kitchens to continue to bring new and exciting food options to customers, while providing the convenience our customers need.
“We are excited about this next chapter in our US growth story as we continue to innovate with seamless integrations of new and improved restaurant concepts,” said George Kottas, Founder and CEO of Ghost Kitchens. “We are proud to work with Walmart to create the best technology-driven customer experiences and make leading products more accessible in the Canadian and US markets.
Ghost Kitchen Brands has locations across Canada and the United States that focus on third-party delivery, as well as stand-alone locations, indoor malls, and big box stores.