The global rise of ghost kitchensSince ghost kitchens do not have a physical dining space, many partner with mobile food delivery apps, such as Deliveroo, Grubhub, or Uber Eats, to sell their menu items. The ghost kitchen company with the most funding in Europe as of 2020 was Karma Kitchen, which raised over 300 million euros in a single round of funding. The company’s business model focuses on providing work spaces for those who want to open a ghost kitchen.
In the United Kingdom, Deliveroo, which is owned by parent company Roo Foods Limited, was the third most used online provider of food delivery in 2020. Deliveroo began working with ghost kitchens in 2017 with the launch of their Deliveroo Editions program, allowing virtual restaurants to launch without the risk and start-up cost involved in opening a physical dining space.
Meanwhile, Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber Eats, which claims over 25 percent of the market share of food delivery companies in the U.S., has also joined the ghost kitchen market. Kalanick established a startup called CloudKitchens in 2018, which, as its name suggests, focuses solely on the ghost, or cloud, kitchen market. However, while the U.S. and the UK are both growing markets for ghost kitchens, the country with the highest number of ghost kitchens as of July 2020 was China, with more than 7,500.