The Celebrity Craze
Virtual brands have been gaining popularity, especially with celebrities. Everybody from Mario Lopez to Pauly D have jumped in on the craze. What exactly is a virtual brand? It’s a new(ish) concept that takes advantage of the fact that more and more food is sold online via platforms like doordash. It’s more likely than ever that you will order food from a restaurant that you have never physically been to. This allows restaurateurs to skip the expensive retail establishment and focus on creating a brand’s online image and menu.
One of the most successful virtual brands is MrBeast Burger. It was created by Jimmy Donaldson, the most viewed YouTuber of all time. The brand was able to pop up in over 300 locations overnight in the USA. It wasn’t relying on the painstakingly slow and expensive process of finding and building out physical locations. In MrBeast Burger’s case, they partnered up with existing restaurants. These restaurants received the necessary recipes and training and were permitted to sell the burgers under the MrBeast brand. In return, they pay MrBeast Burger a portion from each sale. This is pretty similar to how most franchises work.
The Cloud Kitchen Way
Cloud kitchens work in a similar fashion. Michael Mammone, the General Manager as Sweetheart Kitchen knows a few things about creating a virtual brand. He’s started several that generate millions of dollars in annual sales. One brand, Training Day, is according to some sources the number one selling salad brand on Careem. The benefit for cloud kitchens is that they can continue to iterate and find out the perfect combination of brand names, logos, cuisine, and prices. All in the name of finding out what the customer really wants and what they are willing to pay for. This would be incredibly expensive, if not nearly impossible, for traditional restaurants to do.
The Sweetheart Kitchen Way
Sweetheart Kitchen takes a different approach to virtual brands. They own and operate their own brands, instead of letting other restaurant’s make the food on their behalf. They don’t make food on behalf of other restaurants either. This means they can focus on what they do best and can have a ton of quality control. Each kitchen is custom designed to integrate all of their own brands and the variety of cuisines that they serve.