Cloud kitchen helps Chesapeake Bay Bistro to expand

Nowadays if you can figure out a successful recipe for running a restaurant the best way to maximize your potential is through expansion. That’s exactly what’s going on at Chesapeake Bay Bistro a year and half after opening in Ahwatukee. Unlike their brick and mortar location the owners opted to open their new location in a cloud kitchen inside the Tempe Food Court earlier this month. They’re not stopping there as third location will also be in a cloud kitchen in their former hometown of San Diego in January 2023.

“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” says James Brown, who co-owns the Ahwatukee-based bistro with his wife, Yolanda. “Adding locations through a food-court style expansion makes sense on many levels.”

Expansion into a cloud kitchen

Working in a cloud kitchen also gives them the opportunity to open new concepts without all the expenses of a brick and mortar location. That’s why the couple is planning to open a Creole/Cajun concept out of Tempe in 2023. Another reason for the expansion into cloud kitchens is CBB is seeing a lot of take-out from their Ahwatukee location.

“We believe that the food delivery model is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” said Brown said. “Sixty percent of our sales are call in or pickup now.” CBB works with several food delivery services to deliver the hot and fresh seafood dishes for delivery within 15 minutes.

To help alleviate some of the staffing issues of the past few years, the couple’s three grown sons have joined them in restaurants. One son will be running the new San Diego location in the Aztec Food Hub near the San Diego State University campus. The other two sons help out when mom and dad can’t be at the Ahwatukee location.

“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.

The Tempe Food Court location is at 1900 E. 5th St. 85281, not far from the ASU campus and Tempe Marketplace. The Ahwatukee location is at 5033 E. Elliot Rd. Phoenix 85044. For more information visit their website or to order for delivery or takeout check out the delivery services.

 

Kitchen 602 debuts new cloud kitchen concepts

Two new food concepts have launched for delivery or pick-up from the new Kitchen 602 cloud kitchen. Tater Traderz and Rice D’light come from Highland Food Hub at 720 W. Highland in Phoenix which also doubles a test kitchen for new concepts.

Founder Sam Marrero has been in the global hospitality industry for over 30 years and played an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic consulting with restaurants on how to adapt take-out and to-go offerings. “We aim to offer our guests a high-quality dining experience with approachable food that appeals to the masses and can be completely customized,” says Marrero. “I’ve always felt it was important to do whatever it takes to ensure my guests have the best dining experience possible, and now I’m combining that goal with the to-go dining concept.”

Tater Traderz is the newest concept at Kitchen 602 and uses locally made Frites Street fries in a variety of delicious ways. You can get fries topped with chicken, the Cluck Off!, OG Chili Cheese Fries, Sweet Baby BBQ and more delivered from a third party delivery service or picked up at the Hub. Rice D’light Sweet Rice Creations features rice pudding bowls, Horchata and the Chai Chatta. Rice D’light was inspired by Marrero’s growing up in New York and working with Tokyo Disney.

A new Big Box is offered for tailgating and football parties exclusively during football season. The French fry fiesta serves 6-8 people and $40 gets 3 mix and match loaded fries options. For more information or to place orders visit their website.

 

Woo Woo Burgers launches ghost kitchen from Z’ Tejas

The team behind Z’ Tejas Southwestern Grill launched its new ghost kitchen concept, Woo Woo Burgers at the end of May. Currently coming from its Chandler location’s kitchen, burgers and more are available for curbside pick-up or third party delivery. “We’re excited to launch this new concept,” said Robby Nethercut chief operating officer. “Woo Woo Burgers is a passion project of ours. It’s the delicious, simple type of food that we love made with the best ingredients.”

The simple menu offers 1/3 lb 80/20 Angus chuck & brisket for its Woo Woo Burger, Cheeseburger or Bacon Cheeseburger. The Woo Woo Chicken Sandwich comes with bacon and cheese. Several variations of the chicken sandwich are also available. All come dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onions, pickles and mayo and sides, sauces and drinks are also available.

“Burgers represent American culture – backyard gatherings, BBQs, nostalgia of the good ‘ol days,” said Diego Bolanos, executive chef. “I see Woo Woo Burgers as a great opportunity to connect to the community and our guests.”

Through Sunday June 6th 10% of all sales will be donated to Phoenix-based Living Hope Cancer Foundation. The non-profit is dedicated to providing cancer patients and caregivers support through lifestyle coaching and advocacy. Living Hope was founded by cancer survivors and more information can be found on their website.

To place an order head to their website.

Wow Bao ghost kitchen now available from Fired Pie

Chicago’s Wow Bao steamed dumplings, pan-seared pot stickers and bao sandwiches are now available from a ghost kitchen inside Fired Pie. The popularity of ghost and virtual kitchens continue to grow with numerous local restaurants taking on new concepts without opening new restaurants. Currently Fired Pie’s Scottsdale Fashion Square and Northsight locations are preparing Wow Bao’s dishes with plans to expand to other locations in the next 30 – 90 days.

“Our customers have been turning to online ordering, takeout and third-party delivery during the pandemic, so we felt this was the perfect time to launch our ghost kitchen,” said Fired Pie Co-Owner, Doug Doyle. “At Fired Pie, we offer our guests the highest quality ingredients possible and Wow Bao’s menu aligned with our mission to continue to do that.”

Wow Bao sources high quality, sustainable raised proteins that are GMO, antibiotic and steroid free. In addition to bao, dumplings and pot stickers the menu includes Asian Street food favorites Teriyaki, Spicy Kung Pao and Orange Chicken bowls. Family Bundles and catering are available with Family Bundles feeding 4-5 people and Party Bundles feeding 8-12 people.

“We are excited to align ourselves with a concept that has seen explosive new growth in the past year,” said Fired Pie Co-Owner, Fred Morgan. “As the ghost restaurant trend continues to grow, we expect to continue to add virtual concepts to our local storefronts.”

Wow Bao is only available through 3rd party delivery partners DoorDash, UberEats, Postamates and Grubhub. Catering is available through EZCater’s website. For more information or to place an order visit their website.

Central Kitchen virtual food hall opens in Chandler with 4 concepts

Virtual kitchens/food halls continue to gain popularity with the local restaurant industry. Concept Entertainment Group (CEG), owners of Thirsty Lion Gastropub have opened Central Kitchen, a virtual food hall from the kitchen of Chandler’s Thirsty Lion. Arizona is the 4th state to open Central Kitchen which was launched late last year in Oregon then Texas and Colorado. Guests can order from five concepts Soy Joy Kitchen, Southern Jewel, Killer Wings, Pizza & Spice and Thirsty Lion.

“We’ve been fostering the idea of a kitchen focused on takeout and delivery for the last year,” said John Plew, president and CEO of Thirsty Lion Gastropub. “The pandemic put the process into hyper speed, and we saw this as the perfect opportunity to pivot with the climate and launch an idea that aligns with current consumer demands. Central Kitchen fills a need in the restaurant space by providing multiple culinary offerings from one hub. Guests can order the food that everyone in their home is craving under one ticket.”

All menus include scratch made dishes created by Keith Castro, CEG’s VP of Food and Beverage Executive Chef. Guests can order take-out and delivery from one central website with ease and efficiency.

Soy Joy Kitchen specializes in rice bowls, sushi, ramen and other Asian favorites. Southern Jewel offers Southern fried chicken, Nashville hot chicken, sliders and Southern specialties. Killer Wings serves boneless and traditional wings with a variety of house made sauces. Pizza and Spice has a large selection of gourmet specialty pizzas and salads. Don’t forget burgers, salads, sandwiches and more from the Thirsty Lion and vegetarian options are available from most concepts. Starting January 26th Central Kitchen will offer 25% off each to-go meal ordered at the central website.

 

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