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Meet the virtual restaurant brand players

From celebrity-endorsed delivery-only restaurants to at-home eatertainment concepts, delivery-only concepts are the hottest investment in a post-COVID world

In the year leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants were the buzzwords of the moment — though not everyone was convinced the trend would catch on.

But after the pandemic-related closure of restaurant dining rooms in March, offering delivery was the must-have tool to survive and virtual restaurant brands became a prized avenue for growth.

Even as indoor dining began to slowly get back up to speed, virtual restaurant players like C3 — a ghost kitchen division of hospitality company SBE — and Miami-based The Local Culinary, which now has 25 virtual brands under its umbrella, are growing in reach and popularity as traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants falter.

Whether they are using commissary kitchens or partnering with pre-existing restaurants to operate concepts for delivery only, there’s more than one way to stand out in the increasingly crowded virtual space.

We’ve rounded up six stand out virtual restaurant groups that are churning out new independent concepts and expanding rapidly, helping to shape this new niche that many see as the industry’s salvation.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

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