Saladworks set for expansion through Walmart and ghost kitchen partnership

Date : 30 March 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Saladworks, a leading fast-casual salad brand, has partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands in a deal that will almost double its footprint across the US and Canada. The agreement will bring 60 non-traditional locations to the US and 30 to Canada by the end of 2021, many of which will be located inside Walmart stores.

Saladworks capitalising on grocery store traffic

Ghost Kitchen Brands has partnered with over 20 restaurant brands to operate ghost kitchens across Canada and the US. Its operating model and technology-led solution enables it to produce meals from all its partners within a single kitchen. Earlier this month it announced a pilot programme to open kitchens in five Walmart stores in Canada. Through this latest agreement, all stores will offer store pickup and third-party delivery, while some locations will also feature customer seating. Saladworks has previously partnered with The GIANT Company and Kroger to open outlets in grocery stores. The channel has become increasingly important for foodservice companies as shopping malls and high streets have been impacted by the pandemic.

Source: The GIANT Company

Expansion into new states and provinces 

Saladworks, is part of the newly formed WOWorks family of brands, operating around 130 locations in North America. This deal will bring Saladworks into new states, including South Carolina, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington, as well as Canadian provinces, including Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Other WOWorks brands, Frutta Bowls and Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, have also partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands for expansion as part of a smaller test agreement.

Pandemic drove transition to ghost kitchen model

Ghost, or dark, kitchens have come to the fore during the pandemic. While lockdown measures in many regions included the closure of restaurants and other dining outlets, many were able to remain open to offer pickup or delivery options. Many companies transitioned to the ghost kitchen concept as it represented a more economic model until full dining could be resumed. Some companies are likely to stick with a ghost kitchen operation on a more permanent basis, even as the pandemic crisis eases.

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