In the months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, ghost kitchens were already taking off and helping retail landlords mitigate fallout from retailer vacancies. The lockdowns have accelerated ghost kitchen openings amid consumer’s much greater reliance on food delivery. The question now is whether the current dynamic will lead to a glut of these concepts down the line.
“Since restaurants have been largely forced to pivot to pick-up and delivery only, they have effectively all become ‘ghost kitchens',” says Scott Holmes, senior vice president and national director of the retail division with brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap. “Some operators have added delivery-only locations to their expansion plans going forward. It remains to be seen whether these will be long-term growth engines.”