Grubhub announced this week at the bottom of a data report from independent restaurants that the third-party delivery service would soon launch its first-ever virtual restaurant concept. The delivery platform will be diving into the world of restaurant operations in partnership with the Fox cooking competition show, MasterChef, in which multiple MasterChef alums, including chefs Kelsey Murphy and Dorian Hunter, will provide a couple of classic American dishes to curate a menu that customers will soon be able to order nationally.
MasterChef Table, which is launching this summer in major cities across the U.S. will be available to Grubhub partner restaurants as supplemental revenue in an agreement similar to other dark kitchen concepts like Wow Bao.
“We are aware of the increasing value that virtual restaurant concepts present for operators,” Kate Green, vice president of restaurant services with Grubhub told Nation’s Restaurant News. “And we have the opportunity to build out a really turnkey way for merchants to take advantage of these types of concepts.”
Here’s how it works: Restaurants will provide the necessary ingredients and dishes based on their own existing supply chains, and they can participate in the concept with no licensing fees or percentage of sales going back to Grubhub. It would essentially work just like their brick-and-mortar restaurant already on the Grubhub platform.
“It’s an opportunity for an additional revenue stream with low or no overhead costs,” Green said.
The menu is still being developed but will consist of 10-12 classic American dishes from MasterChef alum recipes.
“The focus on the menu items was around ease of use,” Green said. “So, finding ingredients that operators are likely to have on hand that don't require like extra inventory. We’re really going for both a quality and efficiency angle so it’s as easy as possible for operators to adopt and integrate this concept into their existing business.”
MasterChef Table is coming soon to a city near you, though Grubhub would not confirm exactly how many versions of the virtual restaurant will pop up on their platform. If the concept resonates well with customers, we imagine it won’t be the last internally operated virtual restaurant that Grubhub rolls out.
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