Virtual brands continue their market domination as new ones continue to open amid the restaurant labor crisis and coronavirus pandemic. From offshoots of big brands like Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and Dog Haus to brand-new restaurants and food halls featuring concepts that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible, the industry continues to see new concepts on a near-daily basis.
Some virtual brands have turned to celebrities to separate them from the pack. NextBite, which has become known for its celebrity-fueled virtual brands, announced a new partnership with comedian George Lopez. MrBeast Burger (which shattered records in its first day and crashed the website) has added celebrity-specific menu items like the Dream burger.
Others, like the new virtual brands from Dickey’s and Dog Haus, have taken a chain’s most popular menu items and built to-go menus around them, with the goal of giving franchisees more options.
Denny’s new virtual brand The Burger Den is now available at 1,100 of the chain’s locations, and the company’s The Melt Down is being rolled out, so this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Meet some of the new virtual brands from fledgling indies and established chains adding a new revenue stream.