GHOST KITCHENS GIVE RESTAURANTS NEW LIFE The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the way restaurants operate, and many of the changes brought about by lockdowns and dining room closures will be with us for years. Operators scaled back menus to speed up service and minimize labor requirements, and carryout trends such as online ordering and curbside pickup have become increasingly common.
One of the biggest changes to affect the restaurant segment during the pandemic was the widespread adoption of food delivery. Nearly 112 million Americans used a food delivery service in 2020, propelling the value of the online delivery market to $26.5 billion that year. Although the pandemic appears to be fading food delivery is expected to continue growing and is forecast to top $32 billion in 2024.