What is a Ghost Kitchen? And Why I Love Them!

Ghost Kitchen

So what is a ghost kitchen?

While the term “ghost kitchen” may make you think of a haunted chef’s galley, the truth is quite less sinister than that.

Ghost kitchens are virtual restaurants with no servers, dining room, or customer facing establishment whatsoever.

But on the interwebz and on the food delivery apps, they’re thriving.

Ghost kitchens serve meals that are not ordered or eaten inside a physical restaurant. Instead you order your food through apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, or with the restaurant’s own website. Online, these ghost kitchens don’t look any different than those with the typical brick-and-mortar operation, but that is where the similarity ends.

For example, where I live in St Charles Missouri, I own a ghost kitchen called Burger Underground. My ghost kitchen that has its own digital footprint and appears on the popular delivery apps, but Burger Underground doesn’t currently have a storefront. It’s a delivery and take out only service inside Novellus, which is a completely separate restaurant I own. Each restaurant has its own form of operation but run simultaneously in the same kitchen.

Types of Ghost Kitchens

Because the concept is still evolving, there isn’t an exact definition of a ghost kitchen. There are multiple terms that are interchangeable with ghost kitchen, like virtual restaurants. Here are a few common ways ghost kitchens are formed.

  1. Launching virtual “spin-off” brands 

There are some entrepreneurs that are launching virtual, delivery-only restaurants, and they’re leveraging their current kitchens to do so. Burger Underground running inside Novellus is a perfect example. Even as you read this, we are getting ready to launch our next ghost kitchen concept and start franchising Burger Underground to other restaurants who are interested in the virtual kitchen space.

  1. Using a shared commercial kitchen space

These type of ghost kitchens are not located within a typical brick and mortar restaurant. They are typically utilizing a large multiunit commercial kitchen and operating as delivery only. Several separate brands may use a shared kitchen simultaneously, or there may be multiple in-house concepts developed and operated by a single restaurant group. 

  1. Renting out restaurant kitchens

Some restaurants are renting out their own kitchens to accommodate ghost kitchens that need space and equipment. This model helps create an additional revenue stream for restauranteurs that are still recovering from Covid related loss of business.

Why ghost kitchens are here to stay?

While it is difficult to put a definitive date on exactly when the first ghost kitchen opened, I think most people would agree it was the COVID-19 pandemic that accelerated their growth.

Some restauranteurs got into the ghost kitchens space to get a grip in the market during a time when opening a restaurant with a full capacity dining room would have been unthinkable. Even after the world slowly returns to normal, restaurants and customers alike have adapted to the virtual restaurant ecosystem. The digital ecosystem isn’t going anywhere, so it’s likely that ghost kitchens are here to stay.

7 Delicious Reasons Why Brunch Is The Best

From catching up on the shenanigans of the night before to taking the family out for a delicious meal of both breakfast and lunch in St. Charles, we’ve got seven reasons why you should head out for brunch at Novellus this weekend.

Many people may see brunch as a new age millennial term that combines the words ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’, but it was actually thought to be used as far back as the 1930s. Not only that, but many countries around the world celebrate brunch in their unique cultural style. In Canada, brunch can last for several hours and in China they serve dim sum brunch, consisting of freshly prepared savory and sweet dishes.

At Novellus, we love a great brunch, which is why we love to serve a variety of options for you to pick and choose from! Here is why we think brunch is the best.

Breakfast Charcuterie Board
Breakfast Charcuterie Board
  1. Eat Whatever You Want

As brunch is a combination of two meals, you can choose between both breakfast and lunch options, which is great for those whose favorite meal is “I don’t know”. Stuffed French toast with a side of  truffle fries? We are not going to judge! You can also take advantage of the perfect timing to eat twice as much because technically, it’s two meals.

  1. Sweet and Savory

Because of the plethora of options our brunch is the best time to combine that ‘oh so naughty’ but delicious flavor combination of sweet and savory. It may seem a bit ridiculous to have a dessert after breakfast, but after brunch? That’s a no brainer!

  1. You Can Eat Brunch at Any Time

Brunch is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a lazy weekend, but still make plans. Any time before 3pm the morning is an acceptable time to eat, meaning you can make the most of your lazy Sunday Funday, without worrying that you will be too late to eat. This leaves your morning open for a relaxing stroll down historic Main St in St Charles, enjoy some extra sleep, or perhaps knocking one or two jobs off your to-do list (or not). Novellus serves food all day, so you no need to worry or rush in, just make a reservation and relax.

  1. The Perfect Social Gathering

Whether you’re entertaining family, taking the little ones out or catching up with the besties, brunch is the perfect chance to get together. The relaxed environment brunch brings means that you can take as long as you want to eat, drink and chat. It is the ideal opportunity to discuss the previous night out, connect with loved ones, catch up with an old friend, or get the kids ready for a big day exploring Main St in St Charles.

  1. It’s Perfect for Vegetarians and Vegans

Vegetarians, vegans, and even those with celiac looking for gluten free options can revel in the variety of brunch options that we at Novellus has available to them. With so much variety, there will be no struggle in satisfying your cravings, from vegan cheeses to our Berry Yogurt Parfait. At Novellus, we serve a fantastic range of food options for those with dietary restrictions.

  1. The Drinks are as Amazing as the Food

Because brunch has its own special vibe, you can easily break out of the norm when it comes to your drinks order. If you want to stick to your usual, delicious double espresso, we’ve got you covered. But if you want to partake in bottomless flavored mimosas or our Dante’s Inferno Bloody Mary challenge at 10 am, we will be glad to pour it up!

Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary
  1. You Can Come as You Are

At Novellus on Main Street in St Charles, we love the laissez-faire approach to choosing a brunch outfit. Whether you prefer hoodies or heels (or both) it is perfectly acceptable to wear whatever fit tickles your fancy to brunch. The best part is meeting with a group of friends from the night before is to find that you all have taken a different approach to your brunch fits! Next time you’re going for brunch be sure to head to Novellus. Our menu features a delicious take on brunch options as well as a full bar with bottomless mimosas, craft cocktails, and over 100 whiskeys.