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Delivering the Digital Restaurant: Exploring the untapped potential of virtual brands

Why success in the virtual restaurant landscape requires innovation, resilience, and strategic partnerships.

Carl Orsbourn and Meredith Sandland, contributors to Nation’s Restaurant News’ Speakerbox byline series and authors of the books “Delivering the Digital Restaurant” and “The Path to Digital Maturity,” joined NRN live at our recent CREATE Experience in Palm Springs, recording episodes for their podcast The Digital Restaurant.

In the next episode — the fifth of eight bonus episodes where they explore with special guests each chapter of “The Path to Digital Maturity” — Orsbourn and Sandland interview Geoff Alexander, CEO of Wow Bao, on the untapped potential of virtual restaurants.

This intriguing episode dives into the finer details of this revolutionary sector, with Orsbourn, Sandland, and Alexander discussing the triumphs, the challenges, and the sheer potential that lies within. Alexander spills the beans on Wow Bao's unique approach to consistency and execution, and the importance of having resilient partnerships.

Are virtual kitchens the future? Is their impact on traditional restaurants fair game or an unwarranted criticism? They tackle these pressing questions with an unbiased lens, exploring the various models within this space and the pivotal role of delivery platforms like Uber Eats and DoorDash. They also shed light on the controversy that often surrounds virtual brands, questioning the fairness of the criticism they receive for simply trying to survive and generate revenue.

Stream the episode below. For more episodes in the series, click on the below links:


Meredith Sandland and Carl Orsbourn are co-authors of “Delivering the Digital Restaurant: Your Roadmap to the Future of Food” and “Delivering the Digital Restaurant: The Path to Digital Maturity.” After each spent 20-plus years in corporate strategy and retail food, Meredith and Carl each concluded that food in America was changing. They left their corporate jobs in search of innovation that would transform the restaurant industry. Ghost kitchens, virtual brands, digital marketing, the gig economy and lean operations are at the heart of the future they envision.  Carl is the COO of Juicer, a restaurant dynamic pricing company.  Meredith is the CEO of Empower Delivery, software that powers delivery-centric kitchens. Subscribe to their newsletter and podcast at

TAGS: Operations
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