The third-party delivery service Hungr on Monday announced the debut of its own portfolio of virtual brands available for restaurants to bolt onto their existing business.
The Hungr Kitchen collection of concepts is expected to launch in the coming days with a lineup of eight virtual foodservice concepts that restaurants can produce in their own kitchens with supplies from US Foods, which is Hungr’s inaugural wholesale partner in the venture.
Unlike other ghost kitchen brands, in which host restaurants essentially act as franchisees of the delivery-only concepts, Hungr will acquire and supply all of the ingredients, and handle the marketing and delivery using its nationwide fleet of drivers. Restaurants keep 30%-40% of the price per order in exchange for storing the ingredients and producing the items to order in their kitchens using their own staffs.
“The restaurant gets paid essentially for preparing the food,” said Aaron Mortensen, chief marketing officer of Hungr, which is based in San Diego.
The lineup of brands includes eight new concepts: Bongo BBQ, Incredible Wings, Orbit Pizza, WaffleTwist, Gooey Melt, Well Built Burger, Burgerfed and Meatlery — the latter of which is a virtual steakhouse concept. Each concept will have a relatively simple menu of between three and 12 items, and some ingredients, such as sauces, will be shared among the brands.
The virtual concepts were developed in partnership with chefs at US Foods, which continues to work with Hungr Kitchen on the development of new menu items and new brands, Mortensen said. Additional distribution partners and virtual brands are expected to be announced in the future, he added.
The Hungr Kitchen brands will be available only through the delivery provider’s app and website and through Google. Restaurants do not need to have existing relationships with Hungr’s delivery service to add the virtual brands, although any restaurants that choose to offer Hungr Kitchen concepts will by default use Hungr as their delivery platform for those brands.
Restaurants that add the Hungr Kitchen brands could continue to offer their other menu items for delivery through other third-party providers, such as DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Hungr, which seeks to differentiate itself in the third-party delivery market through its flat 12% delivery fee, currently works with about 40,000 restaurant locations nationwide.
Hungr will use artificial intelligence to promote the virtual brands to consumers based on data analytics, Mortensen said.
Menu prices will be on par with similar quickservice and fast casual concepts, with the exception of Meatlery, which will carry higher price points.
Restaurants can choose to offer one or more of the Hungr Kitchen concepts based in part on their existing equipment. Some of the virtual brands use flame broiling, for example, and others use flattop grills, and WaffleTwist requires a waffle maker.
“We don’t want restaurants to have to go out and buy new equipment to be able to do this,” said Mortensen.
The company will provide online training materials for restaurants that adopt the Hungr Kitchen brands, including live virtual training.
Initial testing of the brands proved that the Hungr Kitchen concept “was successful enough that we want to roll it out,” said Mortensen.
The company’s own experience working with restaurants as a delivery provider also helped the company develop the virtual brand offerings, he said.