The Halal Guys announced this week it is expanding its ghost kitchen strategy in the U.S., using the concept to make delivery more widely and cost effectively available to its franchisees, according to a press release. The fast-casual chain, which specializes in Middle Eastern dishes and ethically sourced Halal Meats, is working with franchise development company Fransmart to identify new locations in the U.S. where ghost kitchens would be successful.
With the market for online restaurant food delivery expected to reach $200 billion by 2025, restaurants large and small must now offer it to stay competitive. But opening additional full-scale brick-and-mortar locations to accommodate the uptick in orders brought on by delivery is an expensive, time-consuming process most franchisees — even those of well-known national brands — can’t afford.
Ghost kitchens, which are kitchen facilities with no dining room that restaurants typically use to fulfill off-premises orders, are one way for franchisees to include delivery services without opening new locations or overburdening staff at existing ones. “The small footprint and flexibility of cloud kitchens enables franchisees to unlock opportunities in desirable markets, while avoiding typical barriers like high rent or infrastructure costs,” Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart, said in a statement.
The Halal Guys is no stranger to ghost kitchens, as it already operates one out of Kitchen United’s Pasadena, CA facility as well as its own kitchen in Long Island City, NY. It was also one of the initial four restaurants to launch ghost kitchens at DoorDash Kitchens when that facility opened in October 2029.
The chain was also something of an early adopter of delivery and off-premises orders, launching its mobile app in 2017 and negotiating contracts with third-party services like Grubhub and DoorDash before using those services was the norm. The chain moved into Kitchen United’s Pasadena space in March of 2019 to accommodate more delivery orders and expand the number of potential customers it could reach in Southern California. It launched its own ghost kitchen on the East Coast in the same year.
Working with Fransmart, The Halal guy says it currently has 400 new locations “in the pipeline,” many of which will be delivery-only concepts fulfilled in ghost kitchens.