What is a virtual brand?
A virtual brand is a food concept that has no walk-in component; generally it is produced in a ‘ghost kitchen’ - a kitchen within a kitchen that is obscured from the public. A ‘virtual brand’ only really exists on delivery apps and possibly social media - it is only really a digital thing - and should be treated as such.
Why are they important?
Virtual brands are the hallmark of large changes in the food delivery industry. They are short-lived, sassy and spurious - capitalizing on ‘hot’ trends to deliver food that customers want today, not tomorrow. In addition to being quick to build, virtual brands are much cheaper than their physical counterparts - with little investment in ambience, furniture, space and real world marketing. Instead, virtual brands rely heavily on virility and the power of social media marketing to drive sales.
What are some examples of virtual brands?
Recently, the large American chain - Applebee’s - launched a virtual brand called ‘Cosmic Wings’ across its outlets in the US. Relying on their already well-established infrastructure and brand, they were able to quickly partner with another company, Cheetos, to create a range of dusted hot wings that were an instant sensation with customers across the country. This demonstrates the power of virtual brands; and the ability they have to bring something to life quickly.
How can I get started with virtual brands?
Although building virtual brands sounds easy in theory, it can be a difficult process to master and execute well. This is for several reasons, but predominantly because scaling up these concepts requires real marketing firepower and eye for understanding deep consumer trends that aren’t always abundantly clear. Marketing is an expensive thing to invest in, and when it isn’t done correctly, it often goes to waste.
That said, klikit can help. We are a one-stop software solution for F&B that provides access to loads of tried and tested virtual brands; all managed across locations and channels through just a single device.
Contact us today!
Photo taken from: Guszkowski, Joe. “Applebee's Adds Cheetos-Flavored Wings to the Menu.” Restaurant Business, Restaurant Business, 15 Nov. 2021, https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/food/applebees-adds-cheetos-flavored-wings-menu.