Have you ever seen a “ghost kitchen” in your city before? If your answer is no, you may not have looked hard enough. Ghost kitchens really took off from the pandemic, and are essentially restaurants that cook and prepare food without the seating and in-house dining experience. Like a restaurant that only does carryout and delivery.

But where are they operating out of? And how do I find them?

Great questions. Here in Michigan, they are in a variety of different buildings. Very common are ghost kitchens in other restaurants, for example, a wings joint called “It’s Just Wings” that operates out of Chili’s locations throughout the country. There’s even one right here in Genesee County at the Flint Chili’s off Miller Road. They offer delivery and pickup, and they describe themselves as a “virtual kitchen that shares cooking space at existing Chili’s restaurants.” The food place with the ghost kitchen gets to save on overhead costs and the partner restaurant gets a cut of their profits in exchange.

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In 2021, as the pandemic kept more people staying home and ordering food, DoorDash orders skyrocketed, as everyone wanted takeout or delivery to avoid in-person contact. To keep up with this demand, restaurants started creating ghost kitchens, because why have a whole dining area if no one’s going to use it?

What are the weirdest places used as ghost kitchens?

It’s not just existing restaurants that are used as ghost kitchens. It can be anywhere with a big enough kitchen, whether that’s in a shed, a warehouse, a single-family home, etc. The business will then either offer delivery directly or have Dashers come to this building to pick up the food to deliver to the customer’s home. Not going to lie, I’d be a little nervous as a Dasher to go to a random shed and pick up food.

Now if you hear the term ghost kitchen, you’ll know what they are and where! No need to thank us.

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