Spiky-haired Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri is rapidly rolling out a new delivery-only restaurant chain that adopts the “ghost kitchen” concept instead of a static brick-and-mortar sit-down establishment.
Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchens are operated out of existing brick-and-mortar kitchens. The new chain has multiple outlets in 24 states, with most locations launching in late January or early February.
Flavortown is partnered with Robert Earl, the Planet Hollywood founder, in a company called Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC), a company that trades in virtual kitchens to help existing restaurants gain extra revenue from celebrity-branded concepts.
The Flavortown locations have 18 California outlets, all connected to existing Buca di Beppo, Bertucci’s, Brio and other concepts associated with Earl’s business.
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California Flavortowns are in Brea, Campbell, Claremont, Carlsbad, Encino, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Redondo Beach, Roseville, Universal City, Santa Clarita, Thousand Oaks, and two in San Diego.
The menu features Donkey Sauce to go, and has just 19 items available. Fieri’s Flavortown has such dishes as Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbecue Wings for $13.99, Jalapeno Pig Poppers for $12.99, the “Chicken Guy!” classic for $11.99, and Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese Burger for $12.99.
Fieri is best known for his Food Network shows Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games. He’s built up an empire that includes his name on 14 other brands around the world.
Food can be ordered through the Flavortown Kitchen website or through most delivery services including DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates and Grubhub.
Spurred by the pandemic’s shut-down of indoor dining and limited outdoor options, ghost kitchens – sometimes called virtual brands or delivery-only concepts are booming.
Market research firm Euromonitor estimates they could be a $1 trillion business by 2030.
The ghost kitchen concept already has spawned several companies, including CloudKitchens, started by former Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.