Des Moines' Virtual Restaurants


There's a new food concept i've just gotten hip to. The concept is ghost restaurant. What is a ghost restaurant? Maybe you've been scrolling through Grub Hub or Door Dash and said "Hmmm..... i've never heard of this restaurant," you click to get more information and you find you can only order it to-go. Why? It's because the food is a "concept" from an already established restaurant just for take out. Usually these ghost restaurants keep the menu simple.

The first time I saw something like this was a few months back when I noticed "It's just wings" on Door Dash. The menu is simple: wings & fries. You can't carry out or dine in because "It's Just Wings" doesn't exist on its own, it's part of another restaurant. The delivery driver picks the food up from a working fast casual restaurant. Essentially, a ghost concept could be someone leasing out their menu to another restaurant. It's quite simple for a restaurant like Chili's or Applebee's to throw some wings and fries in their fryers and get a cut of "It's Just Wings" profits. A restauranteur can save a lot of money operating without a lease and wait staff. Celebrities are getting in on this, too. Tyga has partnered with the company Virtual Dining Concepts for Tyga Bites. Mariah Carey has teamed wtih Virtual Dining Concepts for Mariah's Cookies. If you're a local restaurant, you can offer up your ovens for Mariah's Cookies delivery only cookies and get a cut of the profits. It's genius if you ask me.

Locally, i've noticed a few virtual concepts in Des Moines. I've ordered Calzones from a virtual restaurant called Holy Stromboli. If you look at its address, it's the same address as Centro. Good stuff, by the way. I've, also, recently ordered a hand battered chicken sandwich from a virtual concept called "Batter Up." The address is the same as Malo. It was really flavorful and really sinful. I felt like I was at the state fair eating something dipped in batter. And i've ordered from George's Burger Joint, great smash burger. The address may be Americana, but I can't verify.

Have you noticed any virtual restaurants in Des Moines? Do tell!!!