Throughout the duration of the pandemic, all aspects of the hospitality industry have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. From hotels to restaurants, and to where the heart of Food Service Matters lies sports and entertainment venues. But, in typical hospitality fashion, we did what we do best, we pulled up our bootstraps and pivoted to this new era we were catapulted into overnight.

The opportunities to integrate Ghost Kitchens into largely unused kitchens was a no-brainer during the toughest part of the pandemic. What else would we do with these spaces that would otherwise be unused while people were stuck in their homes? “Nobody was looking to unlock the power of dormant real estate,” said Sam Nazarian, who estimates that many hotels are using their kitchens only 15 percent of the time and losing valuable revenue as a result. “Now we can utilize that kitchen at 80 or 90 percent effectiveness and deliver our brand to that millennial generation.” But now, thanks in large part to the stay-at-home orders implemented across the country during the past year, many restauranteurs, hotel operators, and other large venues have adjusted their thinking and the Ghost Kitchen movement has quickly picked up steam. 

The hotel industry was already adopting the movement prior to the pandemic, but now it is time for the rest of the industry to reprogram how we think.

We would love to see Ghost Kitchens integrated into large venues. Many of the top of the line high volume kitchens in sports and entertainment have typically been used on a part-time basis and never fully utilized.  Supporting the Ghost kitchen movement would leverage the existing assets of a venue, provide a needed boost for the decimated local restaurant community while putting some of the most desired local brands under the same roof during sporting events. 

For more information on the Ghost Kitchen movement, check out this New York Times article.