What had been a delivery-only ghost kitchen for Cousins Subs now’s a storefront for drop-in clients in Walker’s Level.
The store at 117 W. Nationwide Ave., which is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, was a delivery-only web site with a commissary kitchen from its opening in 2019 till final week. The massive kitchen is used for larger catering orders.
It nonetheless delivers sandwiches and aspect dishes however now has seats for 14 clients, in addition to pickup of takeout orders. Clients can place orders in individual or online through the Cousins website.
The 5,300-square-foot constructing with parking appealed to Cousins for its proximity not solely to Walker’s Level residents and workers however to downtown, Bay View, the Third Ward and the Summerfest grounds 1 mile away. And the lot supplied a handy place to park its meals truck, mentioned Joe Ferguson, Cousins Subs’ vice chairman of improvement.
The pandemic, nonetheless, evaporated orders from places of work as staffs largely labored from residence. The parking zone was as a substitute considered as a comfort for purchasers stopping in to eat or choosing up orders at lunch or on the best way residence.
“There’s lots of companies which can be transferring to this space,” Ferguson famous, plus new residence buildings in Bay View and Walker’s Level. The world has each foot visitors and heavy vehicular visitors on South First Road, which provides the location at First and Nationwide excessive visibility, Ferguson mentioned.
At Cousins, as at different eating places, the variety of clients eating in is down since COVID-19 hit, however the variety of deliveries has practically doubled, Ferguson mentioned.
The addition of a storefront does not imply Cousins is giving up on the concept of ghost kitchens.
“I believe we may contemplate ghost kitchens in different markets,” Ferguson mentioned, in different enterprise districts that even have important numbers of residents. Cousins, based mostly in Menomonee Falls, now has practically 100 retailers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.
With no eating rooms or indicators and different associated bills for a restaurant open to the general public, it is a lower-cost possibility for a enterprise to launch a presence, Ferguson noticed, significantly as know-how makes on-line ordering and supply simple.
Different eating places use ghost kitchens for brand spanking new product strains, he famous, similar to Applebee’s enterprise into rooster wings. “Cousins wasn’t able to go there,” Ferguson mentioned.
However he thinks ghost kitchens nonetheless work nicely for established companies once they’re making an attempt out new ideas. “Others may gain advantage as a one-off,” he mentioned, serving a menu merchandise not obtainable in any respect its places.
“The market is altering,” Ferguson mentioned. “I believe ghost kitchens can have a spot sooner or later.”
Contact eating critic Carol Deptolla at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 224-2841, or by the Journal Sentinel Food & Home page on Facebook. Observe her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.