KANSAS CITY — The food delivery service DoorDash made a splash in late 2019 with the introduction of its first ghost kitchen in Redwood City, Calif. Nearly two years and one pandemic later, restaurant industry investment in off-premises concepts is accelerating and will create new opportunities and pressures for food and beverage product developers.

Research published by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in 2019 found off-premises dining accounted for 60% of foodservice occasions, and nearly 80% of restaurant operators said developing an off-premises strategy was a priority. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and what was a strategic priority became a necessity. Today, many operators are investing more resources in takeout/delivery capabilities than sit-down concepts.

Foodservice operators are taking notice. On Aug. 11, The Wendy’s Co. announced plans to open and operate 700 delivery kitchens over the next five years in the…

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