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03/12/2021

Walmart Canada partners with Ghost Kitchen Brands for one-stop meals

Tech-based food court-style concept serves up to 20 food brands in a 2,500-sq.-ft.

Walmart Canada is bringing customers a one-stop meal offering through a partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands (GKB).

In a 2,500 sq.-ft. space inside Walmart locations, customers can order freshly prepared menu items from around 20 foodservice and CPG brands including Quiznos, The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Amaya Indian Street Food, Taco del Mar, Nescafé and Ben & Jerry’s. Customers can also place delivery orders from a third-party app such as Uber Eats.

“We’ve created almost like a food court: we’re giving customers 20 to 25 options and not just one,” said George Kottas, founder and CEO of GKB, in an interview with Canadian Grocer. “Even the employees who work at Walmart... you can’t eat the same thing every single day. So, I think having that variety is the biggest plus.”

The first Ghost Kitchen at Walmart is now open in St. Catharines, Ont. with additional locations opening soon in Woodstock, Ont., Toronto; Lachenaie, Que. and Saint-Constant, Que.

The concept is fully automated and there is no customer interaction. There are kiosks with digital ordering screens, or via QR Code, and the food arrives freshly made from the on-site kitchen. Customers can also order from their mobile phones while they’re shopping and pick up their order or have it delivered later. Both in-store and online, customers can mix and match items, and more brands are being added.

This is GKB’s first partnership with a big-box retailer, and Kottas said other grocers are interested in the concept.

“Delivery is here to stay because of the pandemic and all businesses—not just grocery—are going to have to make adjustments,” said Kottas. “It’s just the way of the future and everyone has got to adapt or they’ll get left behind. There is no question about it.”

In a press release, Sam Hamam, senior director of licensees at Walmart Canada, said: “We believe in Ghost Kitchen’s strategy and vision and we’re very excited to be the first retailer to team up with Ghost Kitchens. We’re always looking at ways to improve our customer shopping experience with greater access to affordable products, services and brands.”