Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Ghost kitchen companies are now competing to game the algorithm on food delivery services

Long article at the Verge about restaurants that sometimes house 12 different brands, and the various companies competing to dominate delivery service orders:

“With the virtual brands thus far, a lot of it really boils down to search optimization,” says Melissa Wilson, a principal at the food service consulting company Technomic. Just as the incentives and constraints of Google search or Facebook’s News Feed gave rise to certain emergent styles — the keyword-crammed headline, the clickbait tease — digital brands are converging on a distinctive form. Because people search for food on delivery apps in much the same way they search for anything else online — by product type rather than brand — specific restaurant names like The Bergen, named after the street it’s on, or even Denny’s and Red Robin, are too opaque. 


Soon, he was selling burgers under the names of Chef Burger, Burger Mansion, Hey Burger, and MrBeast Burger. Wings were sold under the names CHICKS, Wild Wild Wings, Crispy Wings, Killer Wings, Firebelly Wings, and The Wing Dynasty.


“Instead of saying buffalo wings, they might say classic wings,” he goes on. “It’s the same exact wing, man.