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Virtual restaurants: the new secret weapon of the restaurant industry

Learn how virtual restaurants are helping restaurants like yours and how easy it is to launch one with Grubhub

Sponsored by Grubhub

2020 was a devastating year for independent restaurants. But it also unleashed some amazing creativity and innovation. Among the most exciting examples: virtual restaurants. With this new model, restaurateurs around the world are using their existing staff and resources to serve more customers, generate more revenue, and diversify their business.
Keep reading to learn:

  • How 2020 changed the game for restaurant delivery
  • What virtual restaurants are and how they work
  • The different types of virtual restaurant models, and their strengths and weaknesses
  • How Grubhub can help you take advantage of virtual restaurants to grow your orders and customer base,  even when times are tough

Navigating stormy waters

The year 2020 wreaked havoc on dine-in business, and the industry  will never look the same—especially for independent restaurants. But restaurateurs have never been the type to pack it in when things get tough. Across the country and around the world, they’ve reimagined their businesses from the ground up to weather the storm. That effort has taken many forms: expanding delivery, embracing pickup, boosting online presence, and in many cases all of  the above. 

Delivery in particular has been a lifeline for independent restaurants. Looking at just one month last spring, NPD group found that overall restaurant traffic had dropped 22%—but delivery orders increased almost 70%.

Some restaurateurs, however, are digging even deeper, asking questions they’ve never considered before:

  • How can I bring in new orders and customers I haven’t been able to reach?
  • How can I make better use of excess  staff and kitchen capacity when orders are slow?
  • How can I diversify my operations to take care of my staff and make my business stronger for the future?

Now, many have found a common answer: virtual restaurants. With explosive growth in online ordering and delivery, it’s now possible to launch a brand-new restaurant concept using existing kitchen and staff, with a storefront that exists entirely online.