Have you ever gone on GrubHub to order lunch to be delivered right to your office, only to realize that the restaurant you're ordering from isn't a restaurant?
With the onset of a plethora of delivery based digital systems like GrubHub, Caviar, Seamless, Maple, etc., it's no small surprise that innovative thinkers recognize the call for only delivery kitchens.
Green Summit, one of those companies who saw the potential value of a 'ghost restaurant,' currently operates eight restaurant brands in New York City, without a single dining room.
In short, these eight brands produce food through two centralized kitchens before being delivered directly to the consumer. Without retail space, Green Summit is able to keep their operation costs to a minimum, while maintaining quality.
Similarly, due to the fact that their operation consists of eight different brands who produce food in two central locations, the variety of the menu can change at the drop of a hat.
Some of the restaurants that you can currently order from include Authentic, 'Leafage, Butcher Block, Maya Blue, Braised, Bushwick, Grind Meatballs, and Crust Deli.
Because these restaurants do not have an actual four-walled dining room, they can change at the drop of hat. Crain's New York reported that the cost of failure is much lower than an actual brick and mortar restaurant.
They state that one of Green Summit's recently scrapped Mediterranean-food restaurant "totaled about $25,000 in sunk costs, as opposed to the $100,000 to $500,000-plus that a small midtown retail location would absorb."
Peter Schatzberg, a co-founder of Green Summit, stated, that there was no real loss when eliminating a brand. The cooks were simply reassigned to different brands and there were no leases that needed to be terminated. They only needed to remove the restaurant from Seamless.
Though other competitors exist in NYC, none operate as a digital operation without an actual storefront.
Some of these companies, such as Alex Perez of Fresh & Co., indicated the potential downfalls of the business model. "Once the food leaves the facility, [the business] can't control the experience," he told Crain's New York.
Unsurprisingly, Green Summit's brands have received both extremes of negative and positive reviews, with the negative primarily bemoaning the high prices, delivery time, and food temperature.
However, Todd Millman, Green Summit's other co-founder, states that the negative reviews are unconcerning. "Reviews are important," he told Crain's, "but they're statistically insignificant." Instead, they focus on the quantity of sales. "We're getting it right," Millman stated.
Though this comment seems a bit cold, Millman and Schatzberg certainly understands the needs and wants of the modern millennial consumer.
They've recognized the rather large population who couldn't care less about the old-fashioned hospitality model based on person to person interaction. Instead, they focus on quality, unprocessed ingredients, speed of delivery, and ease of the ordering process.
When both of these kitchens, (which employ roughly 50 prep cooks, line cooks, and expediters each) are preparing around 600 lunches a day, it's a seemingly brilliant, innovative business model that may be the take out of the future.
Green Summit is currently available through Seamless, an extension of GrubHub.
Check out 8 Best NYC Spots for Your Next First Date.[via Crain's New York] [Feature Image Courtesy Crain's New York]