Inspire Brands announced Wednesday the opening of its first ghost kitchen. Alliance Kitchen, which is located in Atlanta, will deliver food from five of Inspire’s major brands: Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John’s, Sonic and Rusty Taco (not Dunkin’, however).
Alliance Kitchen’s offerings will be available to area customers via brand-specific apps or third-party delivery services.
“Inspire is uniquely positioned to operate a concept like Alliance Kitchen, the first ghost kitchen launched, owned, and operated by a multi-brand restaurant company,” Stephanie Sentell, Inspire Brands senior vice president of restaurant operations and innovation said in a statement. “Inspire’s culture of innovation, coupled with our experience operating nearly 2,000 of our corporate-owned restaurants, enabled us to bring this idea to life successfully.”
Nation’s Restaurant News previously reported on the news that an Inspire Brands ghost kitchen was opening soon in the Atlanta area. In October 2020 during a keynote presentation, Inspire CEO Paul Brown said that they were not quite ready to jump into ghost kitchens yet, but that it could be a fit for them down the line: “We believe that true multi-brand companies like ours that own and operate all the concepts, we'll be able to more efficiently share back of house and kitchen equipment, etc. because we are the same operator across all those concepts,” Brown said at the time.
Alliance Kitchen is a pilot test of America’s second largest restaurant company’s ability to prioritize efficiency and low labor costs under the same roof. According to Inspire Brands, the kitchen will not be segmented by brand, but will rather feature workstations that can fulfill orders from multiple brands. The kitchen staff might, for example, be able to fry up Arby’s curly fries and Sonic fries in one station, while another station might focus on sandwiches from Jimmy John’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Inspire Brands says their new virtual kitchen layout reduces labor needs by 54%, square footage by 19% and equipment costs by 45% by sharing people, grills/fryers, and brand output capabilities under one roof.
Alliance Kitchen will also serve as a testing zone for new menu products, layouts and labor models that can be rolled out to the rest of the Inspire portfolio if successful. Other features and perks include heated and ambient lockers for meal storage before driver arrival, and a driver lounge with WiFi, phone charging stations and free Dunkin’ coffee.
“We look forward to continuing to test and learn with Alliance Kitchen as we find new ways to provide our guests with convenient, digital-led dining experiences,” Sentell said in a statement.
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