Washington Post

A pandemic surge in food delivery has made ghost kitchens and virtual eateries one of the only growth areas in the restaurant industry

Staff pack food at Zuul in the borough of Manhattan in New York on Sept. 15, 2020. Foto: The Washington Post by Jeenah Moon

Like most restaurant groups around the country, BBQ Holdings' four restaurant brands got hit hard by the pandemic - shelter-in-place orders and limitations on dining-room occupancy meant sales plummeted in March, April and May. At Famous Dave's, an affordable barbecue concept with 125 locations mostly in the Midwest, and Granite City Brewery, a group of 18 restaurants in the Upper Midwest, staff stood idle and annual sales projected at $6 million per store started looking like half of that.

Management made a decision, embracing one of the industry's hottest trends, one that has been supercharged by the coronavirus crisis...

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