Muscle Maker Grill, Inc. began construction on two of five planned new delivery-only operations the company intends to open in the downtown Chicago market. Both of the new ghost kitchens are slated to open in early summer. The kitchens will feature menu items from both Muscle Maker Grill and Healthy Joe’s, a new fast-casual concept that showcases oven-toasted subs, hot-topped salads and bowls. Healthy Joe’s launched in New York in November of 2019.

“Delivery-only kitchens are an excellent opportunity for Muscle Maker Grill and Healthy Joe’s, especially, in light of the heightened delivery-focused climate,” says Mike Roper, CEO of Muscle Maker Grill. “Everybody is ordering takeout via various delivery mediums, even my 80-year-old mother has third-party delivery figured out! The two locations, once opened, will accommodate the practice of social distancing that is expected to remain in effect, even after restrictions are lifted. The dual brand collaboration in the ghost kitchen space allows flexibility in the way we operate and will provide a wide array of flavor profiles and unique offerings. The technology associated with ghost kitchens will give us access to vital data that allows us to be nimble and shift the business to accommodate growing trends to increase sales and reduce waste.”

Muscle Maker management expects the growth of delivery to continue as restaurants pivot in response to the restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing popularity of off-premises dining. Muscle Maker Grill signed a 10-location agreement with a delivery-only kitchen provider earlier this year, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The multiconcept operator intends to increase its ghost kitchen footprint in key major metropolitan markets as part of the company’s nontraditional growth plans. The low cost of entry, reduced overhead, and quick buildouts are key factors in Muscle Maker’s strategy to open these locations, per a release.

Interested in learning more about ghost kitchens? Check out this free webcast from our sister publication Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine.