Ghost kitchens come to Joplin
JOPLIN, Mo. – Barbeque ribs probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about Joplin Italian eatery Johnny Carino’s, but their recent ghost kitchen deal with Famous Dave’s Barbeque is changing that.
“Corporate decided to team up with Famous Dave’s to get a location going down here in Joplin. You can order some of our stuff on the menu here in the restaurant but it’s mainly like a ghost kitchen,” said Johnny Carino’s and ghost kitchen assistant manager Milo Field.
The ghost kitchen concept is relatively simple. An out-of-town restaurant strikes a deal with a local restaurant and uses the local kitchen to prepare food that can be ordered online and delivered.
Four-Staters craving some Famous Dave’s Barbeque used to have to travel to Branson but now it’s being prepared right on Rangeline.
“So far, so good! Everyone’s liked it. We mainly cater to hospitals, a couple of the Mercy clinics around here, a couple of churches and stuff. Everyone seems to like it. They always call back and order more,” said Field.
Ghost kitchens provide companies with a cost-effective way to try their food out in a new market, and if it’s a hit that increases the likelihood of the company behind the ghost kitchen permanently setting up shop.
“A lot of companies will look at Joplin and say, ‘Oh, you’re 50,000 people.’ But we swell up to a quarter of a million during the day. Our metro reach is much bigger than what we look like on paper. So I think some of these national chains that can set up a ghost question and get their product out and see what kind of momentum they have, they will see some of that quantitative data isn’t all that quantitative. The market will drive opportunity and we have lots of opportunity in Joplin,” said Doug Hunt, Director of Entrepreneurship at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.
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