Food

Virtual Dining Concepts Brings Creative Twist To Delivery-Only Restaurant Profits

The pandemic has dramatically modified how our restaurant patrons dine. With that has come a wave of a brand new digital eating experiences which are remodeling the business. These digital experiences are a singular solution to convey new or present restaurant manufacturers to life. The ghost kitchen idea has emerged as a vibrant and cost-effective solution to make the expertise actual.

Among the many leaders in paving the best way for this new phase of the business is Eric Greenspan. He has introduced a monitor report of success to his partnership in California based mostly Virtual Dining Concepts. Greenspan has a wealthy historical past within the meals and hospitality business that has helped him develop an thrilling digital eating expertise.

Chef Eric Greenspan
Chef Eric Greenspan

Having began in wonderful eating, working for high-end eating places and world-class cooks reminiscent of David Bouley, Greenspan turned well-versed in all that made a model and enterprise profitable. Greenspan turned an government chef for Patina restaurant in LA and in 2008 opened his first restaurant referred to as Foundry on Melrose. He then ventured into meals media, turned an Iron Chef winner, and was featured usually on Man’s Grocery Video games and Man’s Ranch Kitchen. His personal present on Nationwide Geographic, Eric Greenspan is Hungry, and his cookbook, The Nice Grilled Cheese Guide, have been each hits.

Greenspan then turned one of many very early entrants into ghost kitchens. “After growing my brick-and-mortar restaurant business to seven restaurants, I decided to change my focus,” he stated. “I was one of the first tenants at the first cloud kitchen building in LA in 2018.” Greenspan was added to the Nationwide Restaurant Energy Checklist in 2019 for his work in ghost kitchens.

With that got here an introduction and a partnernship with Robert Earl to create Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC). “I met Robert in the cloud kitchen, and we eventually partnered on my existing concepts,” Greenspan defined. “We got to talking and came to the joint belief that the traditional ghost kitchen model wasn’t something we thought provided the best chances of a restaurant’s success at the time and wanted to explore virtual concepts.”

One of many key strategic choices about VDC for Greenspan was to resolve between a ghost kitchens or digital idea: “With ghost kitchens you are renting a dedicated space to execute delivery-only concepts, and with a virtual experience you partner with existing operators and use their existing staff and equipment to open up a second or third revenue stream for the execution of a delivery-only concept,” Greenspan defined.

The third member of the VDC founding administration staff: Robbie Earl introduced very distinctive perception and youth to the enterprise. The youthful Earl noticed the chance that existed in partnering with “today’s celebrities” that normally had no meals background of any sort. A primary technique of VDC is to accomplice with well-known Mental Properties (IPs) to assist draw consciousness to the existence of a model. Partnership with You Tube superstar Mr. Beast turned VDC’s most profitable model so far. “He helped drive engagement towards the Smash Burger concept, a menu trend that operates within a traditional burger white space. When we launched a Mr. Beast burger app with a loyalty program it was the #1 downloaded app on launch day and remained on the top charts for a significant period.”

Virtual Dining ConceptsGreenspan notes that VDC’s efforts to merge meals with the social media stars of at present are nonetheless of their infancy. He has noticed efforts in menu additions, reminiscent of a dessert model from meals tv star Buddy V as, being a whole supply buy on their very own not only a menu add-on. “It’s about operating in those traditional marketplaces like burgers, wings, and subs but in a unique way, so it stands out. The celebrity influencers can help drive engagement, but we must create a great tasting product for people who don’t even know who that celebrity is. We are successful because we create a relevant brand and are strongly integrated into direct-consumer businesses.”

VDC plans on persevering with to accomplice with the celebrities of social media. “Everything is on the table including healthier food options,” Greenspan stated. “It’s up to both us and the consumer. We may lead the charge if we find an IP inspired by a particular product that we can help market. If our IPs are engaged and believe in it then we partner with them to make that dream a reality.”

As a result of Virtual Dining Concepts companions with present eating places, any challenges he has come throughout mimic that of the complete business. “We launched this back in 2019, pre-Covid, when it was a more limited marketplace, but the Pandemic has generated growth. Typical challenges have included issues with understaffing or supply-chain shortages. However, we have still found success because this unique model is dynamic, strong, and fits the current climate. All restaurants could benefit from this model and what we put out is a great product and exciting brand.”

Whereas Greenspan misses the non-public connection he had being bodily current on a eating room ground, his alternative to disrupt the business and lead it motivates him. “It’s especially rewarding to be able to create and lead from a new culinary platform,” he stated. “We are helping brands develop their own voice and this concept is based on a culture of quality and creativity; it’s a way to have an impact on so many brands and help, and potentially even save, restaurants.”

The R&D area of the meals business Greenspan works inside helps eating places modify to any challenges they’re going through. “We work with dynamic packaging, sourcing or approach challenges and assist modify. We will change a menu merchandise and switch it into an expertise, or impression a menu in a pair weeks versus a typical couple of weeks or 12 months lengthy course of.

Among the many extra fascinating areas of Greenspan’s place is scaling ideas throughout as many as 1000 plus kitchens throughout the nation. This contains working with broadliner distributors together with US Meals and Sysco to supply product for every idea’s menu. Virtual Dining Concepts has additionally been on the chopping fringe of growing packaging that’s each inexperienced and sustainable and locks in taste as meals travels to its vacation spot.

For eating places and operators curious about exploring the digital eating expertise, Greenspan encourages visiting the Virtual Dining Concepts web site. To be taught extra about Greenspan’s historical past within the meals business go to his web site.

The submit Virtual Dining Concepts Brings Creative Twist To Delivery-Only Restaurant Profits appeared first on Total Meals Service.

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