The Future of Ghost Kitchens

The Future of Ghost Kitchens

OM in the News previously reported on the rise of ghost kitchens, and we’re back with an update. Ghost kitchens as a concept have grown tremendously popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Red Robin recently introduced 3 national ghost brands — Chicken Sammy’s, The Wing Dept, and Fresh Set.  They join a long list of restaurants using the ghost kitchen concept. Restaurant chains and their products include Chili’s It’s Just Wings, Applebee’s Cosmic Wings, and Blooming Brands (the parent company for Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill) with Aussie Grill and Tender Shack.

A ghost kitchen typically uses a kitchen that can be shared across several companies and/or brands.  Orders are placed online or through apps for delivery using services such as Uber Eats or DoorDash.

Franchises are using ghost brands to bring in more business, especially with less dine-in due to COVID-19.  MrBeast is an example of a ghost franchise.  They take the orders through their app, and send it to a number of ghost kitchens to be filled and delivered.  They opened over 300 locations overnight, using the ghost franchise concept.

A third variation is that local kitchens can join a ghost franchise, take Continue reading

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Oat Milk Shortage

Oat Milk Shortage

Over the last several years, oat milk has been in short supply.  OM in the News posted on it a couple of years ago.  In spite of the lapse in time, shortages are still an issue for oat milk, and for its primary producer, Oatly.  The shortages of oat milk were impacted by the pandemic.

Shortages of hand sanitizer are understandable, but why a shortage of oat milk?

When the pandemic began, demand for oat milk increased.  Part of the appeal is that oat milk is a great-tasting, healthy, and sustainable product.

Oatly was able to reduce the initial shortage when it built its first US plant in New Jersey.  It started construction of a second plant in Utah.  However, COVID-19 has delayed its completion.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Oat Milk Shortages Reported Following Delay in New Oatly Plant, by Deena Shanker, March 25, 2021, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Westend61

Discussion Questions:

1. Why are there still shortages of oat milk?

Guidance: Continue reading

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Factors Affecting Supply Chain Resilience

Factors Affecting Supply Chain Resilience

COVID-19 has exposed many vulnerabilities in our supply chains.  Of particular note are supply chains for food and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Most people take for granted that we can walk into a grocery store, and leave with a wide variety of food items.  However, in Spring 2020, this was not the case.  Many store shelves were bare, including some essentials such as flour and pasta.  Many farmers destroyed milk, eggs, and chickens, while other crops rotted in the field.

Similar problems have occurred across almost every supply chain.  Shortages of PPE occurred during the early stage of the pandemic. Most PPE production was concentrated in China.  The combination of disrupted production and transportation and increased demand created shortages.

Shipping containers have made worldwide transportation more efficient and reliable.  As a result, organizations have spread their supply chains throughout the world to increase their efficiencies.  This has also led to concentration of production, a reduction in the number of suppliers, and added a bottleneck, as seen in the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.

The food supply chain illustrates many problems brought on by a search for efficiencies.  To increase Continue reading

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