Throughout the pandemic, there is no doubt that the restaurant industry has been one the hardest hit. For many restaurateurs, the only option to stay afloat has been to shift their focus almost exclusively to takeout. Initiatives like Canada Takeout have emerged out of necessity to garner widespread support and has even created nation-wide cultural shifts in consumer takeout behaviours with programs like #TakeoutDay.
Another major source of relief for restaurants has been to go the ghost kitchen route to supplement revenues from existing operations. One of the biggest success stories has been Kitchen Hub in Toronto. More than a ghost kitchen, they are a virtual food hall with culinary brand power. Their west end location on Queensway is anchored by chef Nuit Regular’s Pai by Northern Thai and beloved barbeque hub The Carbon Bar. In the east end of the city, Kitchen Hub recently opened their Parliament Street location with crowd-favourite Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen as their headliner and there are plans for rapid and further expansions. Kitchen Hub’s offerings also include The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Ben & Jerry’s, Daan Go Macarons by chef Christopher Siu, Fresh, Greenhouse Juices and more.
Janet Zuccarini, CEO and owner of Gusto 54 Group recognizes the significance of teaming up Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen with an innovative concept like Kitchen Hub.
“During this difficult time, it’s been a truly remarkable opportunity for Chubby’s to join forces with Kitchen Hub in order to reach the communities in Yorkville, The Beaches, Danforth, Riverdale and Leslieville and beyond. Despite the restaurant’s four walls being closed, with the support of Kitchen Hub, we’re able to bring that transporting Chubby’s experience guests all know and love, into their homes with pickup and delivery,” says Zuccarini.
Adam Armeland, CEO and Co-Founder of Kitchen Hub, underscores how both consumers and restaurants stand to benefit.
“During a time when restaurants simply don’t have the capital to invest in new brick-and-mortar locations, gathering under the same roof with other powerhouse brands with their own dedicated spaces reduces high overhead costs without relying on indoor dining. Not to mention the increased online traffic to each participating vendor, as patrons are introduced to a wider variety of new or established restaurants that they didn’t previously have geographic access to,” says Armeland.
Now hangry, working-from-home Torontonians will no longer have to fight their families over the pick of the night. A different meal for each member, or indulging in all and trying it tapas-style, the innovative experience allows customers to try meals from varying vendors. All prepared fresh to order, with no extra delivery or service fees. This enticing deal satisfies individuals of all tastes, saving patrons money, and increasing business opportunities for participating restaurants.
Since takeout is one of the only options to generate revenue for now and for the foreseeable future, it makes sense for restaurants to expand their geographic reach without having to reinvent the wheel. The infrastructures are already in place and allows restaurants to do what they do best – cook their signature dishes and share with more customers across the city.