It Seems Like Uber Is Exploring Ghost Kitchens

Updated: Mar 16, 2019

According to various reports, Uber is testing out it's own ghost kitchens in Paris.

Uber Ghost Kitchen

As a quick reminder, a ghost kitchen or dark kitchen or cloud kitchen, is a small fully equipped commercial kitchen rented out to restaurants and entrepreneurs who want to get in to the food delivery business. Like a We-Work for restaurant kitchens. Chefs cook food to order which is then delivered through third-party delivery services such as DoorDash, Postmates, and obviously in this case, Uber Eats.

Given that Uber Eats already delivers billions of dollars of food from local restaurants around the world, it makes sense that it would explore having it's own ghost kitchen operation. It could rent these spaces to restaurants who would sign up with Uber Eats as their exclusive delivery partner. It is not clear if, or when, Uber will expand this concept to the US. Currently there are two main players in the US ghost kitchen industry, both with major expansion plans: Kitchen United and Cloud Kitchens.

Here's where this story takes an interesting twist. Cloud Kitchens is owned by Travis Kalanick who is the cofounder of Uber, a current board member, and it's former chief executive until a series of scandals forced him out. Apparently, Kalanick has been hiring former employees from Uber and has been warned by Uber to stop trying to steal it's employees.

Regardless of this in-fighting, the continued development of ghost kitchens and the millions and billions being poured in tot this industry along with virtual restaurants and on-demand delivery apps, suggests this shift in the restaurant business is just getting started.

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