“One of the big challenges a lot of operators face during the pandemic is they were not set up for delivery, or their food does not deliver well and those restaurants are in big trouble,” said Nextbite CEO Geoff Madding, who said the virtual kitchens are given the recipes and are responsible for providing the ingredients; the restaurant and Nextbite then split the profits. “We give them a whole lot of brands and the cool thing about the model is it allows them to do what they are already doing but they don’t have to create a new brand or create something specifically for delivery. It allows that restaurant to do what they are already doing.”
Garrett’s Family Steakhouse, 9431 E. 22nd St., is the first restaurant in Arizona to join Nextbite’s virtual restaurant program, which is in major cities across the country including Los Angeles, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Denver. Lopuszynski said that when he rolled out the program on Sept. 22, he made $22 in sales the first day. Every day after, sales increased — $60 on the second day, then $300, then $350; one day he had $444 in sales for HotBox and Mother Cluckers, all generated through an invisible third party.
“It has been amazing to the point where on Friday night we had to shut it down,” he said last week. “We did not anticipate the amount of orders.”
Garrett’s is adding staff to keep up with demand.