Hospitality

Ghost Kitchen ChefReady Announces Five New Restaurant Concepts

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Denver’s ghost kitchen ChefReady will introduce five new concepts this week at the 1468 S. Cherokee St. virtual kitchen in Denver’s Platte Park, including a previously shuttered downtown restaurant, a new Thai concept, a catering company and a Mexican popsicle concept.

Chef Ready opened its first virtual kitchen in July 2020, offering ten rentable, high-tech commercial kitchen stations under one roof for delivery-only concepts. The recent pandemic has seen unprecedented restaurant delivery sales, creating new habits that will likely continue. ChefReady offers a way for restaurants to maximize their delivery footprint. This delivery-only style of kitchen also decreases risk to restaurants during financial crises. Following COVID-19, many restaurants won’t be able to open or reopen as brick-and-mortar restaurants or be unable to succeed at limited occupancy. Virtual kitchens can provide an affordable, stable avenue for restaurants to (re)establish themselves.

ChefReady is the brainchild of Denver native Nili Malach Poynter and her husband Robert Poynter.

“For years, Robert and I watched restaurant-owner friends close their brick-and-mortar restaurants, due to declining profit margins and rising rent, so we were excited to hear about the ghost kitchen concept,“ said Nili. “But while looking into those further, we realized that many operate with a “churn and burn” mentality, resulting in an unprofitably high tenant turnover. We decided to create a company that offers the convenience of a ghost kitchen, but with more of a ‘mom and pop’ personalized level of customer service, as well as greater efficiency, and a ‘greener’ footprint.”

ChefReady provides a team of experts to help the restaurants succeed, including marketing, architectural and permitting guidance. Their kitchens are “plug and play,” equipped with commercial hoods, sinks, back-up generators, AC, heat, electric and gas hook ups, and pest control. ChefReady also gives tenants the ability to customize their kitchen’s layout with extra refrigeration, extra storage space, and deep-cleaning services, and can have customized kitchens built out and ready to go in as little as 2-4 weeks. They also provide delivery assistance, including software that aggregates third-party delivery programs and employs food runners to bring the food from stations to delivery drivers. ChefReady will be located in the Platt Park neighborhood, an area that is close to many of Denver metro’s neighborhoods, including downtown Denver and Cherry Creek.

“Restaurant startup costs can range from $175,000 to well over $1 million, and that just isn’t feasible for a lot of chefs and restaurateurs,” said Nili. “We want to provide a more affordable avenue for restaurateurs to open their second “restaurant,” experiment with a new concept with a low cost to entry, or give them extra space to fulfill delivery orders.”

Food can be ordered directly through the concepts’ website or through third-party apps. Customers can get items delivered or pick it up at the Platte Park neighborhood virtual kitchen space.

The following new concepts will open this week:

  • Khan Toke Authentic Thai: After 10 years of experience in Thai restaurants, the Konsila family is ready to serve real Thai food to Denverites. Authentic Thai dishes include Gai Prik Kluea (Seasoned Crispy Chicken) and Choo Chee Catfish.

  • The Greedy Hamster is relocating from its famous spot in downtown Denver to ChefReady, serving up a wide variety of bistro bar food including sandwiches, burgers, wings, and more.

  • Localeta will serve creamy, fruity, chocolate-covered and other styles of paletas (Mexican frozen desserts similar to popsicles.)

  • Angry Bear Fajita Bowls will create organic fajita bowls with housemade sides including three types of salsa, queso, and guacamole.

  • Dorsey’s Catering is a family-owned catering and fast casual outlet that specializes in gourmet meats.

 
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