- TGI Fridays is partnering with Reef Expertise to launch 300 supply kitchens throughout North America and different worldwide markets all through the following 5 years, the corporate mentioned in press launch emailed to Restaurant Dive. The primary location will open in Miami, the place Reef is headquartered.
- This marks Reef’s first partnership with a world informal eating idea. In an announcement, TGI Fridays CEO Ray Blanchette referred to as Reef a “launching pad” to ship Fridays’ menu whereas “prioritizing comfort and high quality.”
- The partnership is the newest in a flurry of restaurant offers for Reef. Lower than a month in the past, the ghost kitchen platform introduced plans to open 500 places with 800 Degrees Pizza. In August, it struck a take care of Wendy’s to open 700 delivery kitchens.
This TGI Fridays partnership builds on Reef’s goal to expand to 10,000 locations, an enlargement tear its funding with the $700 million it secured in 2020 from a Softbank-led syndicate funding. The corporate presently has 5,000 places in 30 cities worldwide, in response to the press launch, however solely has about 450 ghost kitchen items in its community, Reef mentioned in a current interview.
Simply this week, Reef additionally acquired logistics firm Bond, which has a community of refrigerated, last-mile-delivery “nano warehouses.” The flexibleness of Bond’s mannequin could give Reef a leg up over extra conventional ghost kitchen suppliers, which usually depend on giant warehouse achievement facilities.
Reef’s mannequin does not require a lot actual property funding. The platform converts underutilized metropolis house, like parking heaps, into hubs for ghost eating places by opening comparatively small ghost kitchens, usually utilizing trailers. It helps these supply kitchens with its software program and digital infrastructure, together with a brand new direct ordering platform.
This mannequin might permit TGI Fridays to increase into new markets at decreased price — a price proposition that may be a main driver behind the enlargement of the ghost kitchen segment. This chance might doubtlessly permit the chain to reenter among the markets it exited in the course of the worst of the pandemic, as properly.
The Reef deal bolsters TGI Fridays’ off-premise technique, which helped the chain survive the previous 18 months. In Q2 2020, gross sales at TGI Fridays have been down 80%, however have since rebounded due to the chain’s investment in supply and curbside pickup.
This is not TGI Fridays first foray into ghost kitchen partnerships, both. The informal chain works with JustKitchen in Taiwan, for instance. The restaurant’s proprietor, TriArtisan Capital Advisors, additionally not too long ago invested $10 million investment in C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), an organization that makes use of kitchen capability inside current eating places to deploy digital restaurant manufacturers.