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TikTok To Launch Ghost Kitchen Enterprise Selling Food Popularized On Its App


Another major brand is jumping into the ghost kitchens pool.

TikTok is launching a line of ghost kitchens to sell dishes popularized on its platform, such as baked feta pasta and corn ribs, through the delivery app Grubhub, Business Insider reports. The venture will be called TikTok Kitchens and be operated via a partnership with ghost kitchen operator Virtual Dining Concepts.

Rather than operating out of dedicated industrial and commissary space like some ghost kitchens, TikTok Kitchens will be run out of the kitchens of national chain restaurants like Buca di Beppo and Bertucci's, BI reports. TikTok, a subsidiary of Chinese parent company ByteDance, aims to have 300 locations up and running at the time of the venture's launch in March, growing to 1,000 locations by the end of 2022.

TikTok will compensate creators and influencers who conceived of and popularized items that will be served by TikTok Kitchens, but the structure of compensation has not been disclosed, BI reports. The offerings will be updated quarterly to keep up with trends on the app.

Virtual Dining Concepts has partnered with online brands for ghost kitchens at least once before, when it helped YouTube star MrBeast launch his MrBeastBurger line of ghost kitchens in late 2020. Its strategy of using kitchens at operating restaurants that need an extra revenue stream is distinct from that of ventures like Kitchen United and Sam Nazarian's C3, both of which use central kitchens that produce food for multiple ghost brands without having any in-person dining service.

Another competing concept from REEF Technology uses trailers parked in parking lots the company owns as ghost kitchens. Despite success in the form of investment from venture capital giant SoftBank Vision Fund and a partnership with fast-food chain Wendy's, that project has run into several issues stemming from its choice of business model and pace of growth.