Jul 19, 2021
One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic has been the acceleration of many industry trends that had already been underway in 2019. The ever-increasing pace of change in the restaurant industry is no exception, and one particular development of note has been the rise of dark kitchens, also known as cloud kitchens or ghost kitchens. A few months ago, Sam and Prashant (along with co-author Yury Adamov) published a paper entitled, “When Kitchens Go Dark: How Covid-19 Could Transform the Restaurant Industry.” In this episode, they join Steve Geskos to further elaborate on the topic, taking a deep dive into the world of dark kitchens. Both draw on Prof Christensen’s theories to reflect on the restaurant space, but Sam - Founder and CEO of Phinix Virtual Kitchens Group - considers industry change from the perspective of an entrepreneur who abandoned his brick-and-mortar restaurant in order to adopt a dark kitchen business model, while Prashant offers insights from his vantage point as a Partner at Innosight. This thought-provoking conversation touches on a myriad of topics, including the brutal competitiveness of the industry; the changing basis of competition and the incumbents who might be most prone to disruption as a result; the long-term viability of traditional restaurants' business models; and the opportunities created by big event disruptions to drive growth, including changing consumer expectations in a world slowly emerging from the pandemic and its implications for those looking to build and sustain successful enterprises in this space.