CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Chef Doug Katz, the owner behind Fire, Chutney B and Zhug is launching a ghost kitchen this week, called Chimi.
He’ll run it out of the commissary kitchen in the the old Katz Club Diner location Lee Road.
They’ll be making South American food specifically designed for take out, like their Peruvian chicken, or jackfruit tamales which travel well.
“The ghost restaurant experience is about creating something that works in that to go environment,” Katz said.
The idea behind the ghost restaurant is to eliminate expensive overhead, start-up expenses and fixed costs.
“A small kitchen in an area you’d never open a restaurant in for maybe $500 a month instead of $5000 a month for a whole restaurant,” he said.
There is no dining room, no signage, not even a lobby or hostess stand for pick up.
Customers order online or over the phone, then drive to the location for curbside pick up or have their meal delivered.
Katz says now is the time to do it.
“Not only for economic reasons but for safety concerns it’s giving people the opportunity to get a great meal and go sit in a park,” he said.
They’re creating a portable experience, enhanced by the ability to add cocktails, beer and wine to orders.
Katz says he expects to see more of them in the market.
“It’s the way to be successful during this time and take very little risk and utilize what you’ve already committed to in a new way that can capture people. This is our opportunity to change how people dine and how people eat out,” he said.
Because there is no signage or branding, owners can run multiple ghosts restaurants out of the same kitchen making it even more efficient.
Chutney B will continue to run out of the Lee Road locations.
Square Scullery in Akron has also launched the ghost kitchen concept, behind an old VFW.