Lincoln Kitchen’s quest to bring Indiana together.
Ghost kitchen real estate marketing is an unexplored field — a fact that Eric Berindei, owner of The Lincoln Kitchen, is learning firsthand. Berindei has always been on top of trends. He started a restaurant delivery service in Valparaiso, Indiana before the creation of DoorDash and UberEats back in 2013.
Three years later, Berindei sold his restaurant company to pursue a new goal: ghost kitchen real estate. The Lincoln Kitchen is his new answer to a rising delivery need.
Their single kitchen houses five tenants, with two more joining in 2022. As Berindei explored the new virtual brand field, he faced the first-hand challenges of creating ghost kitchen real estate and getting his community-driven idea off the ground. As of publication, the ghost kitchen business has been open for over a week despite these challenges.
So how did Lincoln Kitchen work through a new, unexplored field to become one of the first ghost kitchens in Indiana?
It wasn’t easy for Berindei to make it to opening day. Between filing permits, hunting for tenants, and constructing his own space, his exposure to what he wanted was amorphous at best. Ghost kitchens in Indiana are few and far between, so he modeled his dream after many of the popular ghost kitchens in California.
The vision was simple, and Berindei broke it down for us:
“If a guy who works at a restaurant in town wants to start his own restaurant, he might not have $250K to do it. But if he can put together some kitchen equipment, I can help him by providing the space, marketing, ordering solution, and exposure to help him get off the ground at a much lower cost. They can use it as a stepping stone for getting their restaurant.”
As he chased down signatures and planned out the architecture of the space, Berindei ran into some unique technical problems. After all, the list of must-haves was specific:
Berindei shopped around and checked out tons of software. He thought he had found the answer but soon discovered that they couldn’t deliver everything he wanted. That was, until he found Bbot.
The best ghost kitchen resource
With Bbot, Lincoln Kitchen was ready to get up and running within three weeks. Our multi-concept menu support, order throttling, and comprehensive accounting features built for multi-brand ghost kitchens made us the clear choice for Berindei’s needs. We were the only provider that was able to make sure his ghost kitchen list was completely checked off.
“When you’re looking at setting up a ghost kitchen, it can be a little overwhelming; you don’t understand how it all fits together. It’s hard to see the big picture when you focus on the smaller things like setting up the menu and getting approved by the health department. It’s a lot for someone who isn’t familiar with the process to not become intimidated.”
But Berindei wasn’t alone — he had help. Whenever he had a question, all he had to do was dial his customer support person or send an email and get an answer from Bbot within the hour.
Using tech for hybrid delivery
Lincoln Kitchen based much of their real estate model on popular California-based ghost kitchens. Although Berindei's Indiana-based company didn’t have the same resources as titans of the virtual brand industry, he wanted to mirror their hybrid first and third-party delivery model.
Berindei hired in-house drivers to supplement his third-party delivery process, with the goal to drive higher margins and let him manage how fast orders went out.
Delivery placed through Bbot arrived 10 minutes faster than an average order. Additionally, Bbot orders brought in a 30% higher profit margin for Lincoln Kitchen’s delivery.
“Bbot orders are fast. As soon as the customer hits submit on an order, the printer gets the ticket.”
The future of Lincoln Kitchen is growing
Although Berindei’s ghost kitchen has been open for over a week, he’s already excited about the possibilities for growth. He hopes to open two to three more ghost kitchen real estate properties like Lincoln. When asked about his 10-year vision, he laughed to himself before shyly putting forward his big plans.
“I want to use this as a model to create more of these concepts. If I start in these small college towns around here, maybe ten years from now, we’ll have 50 locations. That would be awesome. It would be a testimonial to why this works and how we can help somebody that doesn’t have the capital to create that success for themselves.”
Want to know more about what advice we gave Berendei? Watch How to grow your virtual brand for the complete picture.