Wendy’s to open 700 ghost kitchens by 2025 with start-up Reef

Customers dine at Wendy’s outdoor seating near Union Square in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Wendys announced on Wednesday that it would open 700 ghost kitchens in the USA, Great Britain and Canada by 2025 through a partnership with start-up Reef Technology.

Ghost kitchens, also known as virtual, cloud or dark kitchens, are designed to meet the demand for restaurants outside of the business premises. The facilities fulfill delivery orders that are made via third-party delivery apps such as by Dash. Companies say they are helping restaurants cut costs by using fewer workers, fewer square feet, and being in less desirable locations – as in the case of Reef in parking lots.

Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor told analysts on Wednesday that its US business saw digital sales grow more than 10% in the second quarter.

Wendy’s and Reef piloted eight ghost kitchens in Canada before creating this development plan. The companies assume that they will be able to open around 50 of the ghost kitchens this year.

“If you look at economics, it is still early to say what we can do with the sale of each of these vessels, but we expect sales between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million per unit,” said Penegor.

The average annual gross revenue of a Wendy’s franchise restaurant in the United States was $ 1.75 million in 2020, according to the franchise’s disclosure documents.

Despite lower expected sales for the ghost kitchen locations, Wendy’s continues to expect solid returns. It will allow the company to expand more into urban locations, and Reef will be responsible for buying the kitchens and hiring workers, Penegor said. The start-up will also pay slightly higher royalties – 6% of gross sales in the US compared to 4% billed to other franchisees.

Penegor also said the program could be a great way to attract new franchisees due to the lower upfront cost.

The deal makes Reef the first Wendy’s franchisee in the UK The burger chain opened its first restaurant on UK soil in decades as part of a broader plan to expand its global reach in June this year.

Founded in 2013 as ParkJockey, Reef only started out as a parking garage operator but has since then branched out in ghost kitchens in shipping containers on more than 4,500 parking spaces. As of February, the startup raised more than $ 756 million, including an investment of SoftBank, according to the pitchbook. Other restaurant partners are BurgerFi and Wow Bao.

Wendy’s shares rose 3.7% in afternoon trading after the company did too reported quarterly profit and revenue that surpassed Wall Street estimates and raised its guidance for 2021. The stock is up 3% this year and has a market value of $ 5.02 billion.

Paper Mario-Type Journey ‘The Outbound Ghost’ Is Now Dwell On Kickstarter

Good news for people who love flat things and ghosts: The outgoing mind, a Indie Paper Mario-style adventure game, is now live on Kickstarterwhere you can put it aside for any amount from one Swiss franc (get your name in the credits) to 2,775 Swiss francs (around £ 2k or $ 3000) if you want to become a ghostwriter for the game (you get it? ).

This is how the Kickstarter describes the game:

The Outgoing ghost is an adventure game about a ghost figuring out the cause of his own death and helping others come to terms with the afterlife.

You play an amnesiac who wakes up on the outskirts of the city. It just so happens that a few weeks before you got into the picture it was the location of a serial murder.

The ghosts in the game – including you who are ghosts – are “the embodiment of regret” and remain in the world over an unfinished business. It is up to you to help these people by participating in different puzzles to lead them to some kind of enlightenment. There’s even a lock picking mini-game! Everyone loves lock picking mini-games!

Unlike many Kickstarter games – which often have console releases as stretch goals – The Outbound Ghost has already been confirmed for both Switch and Steam, bringing the Poltergeist Patron Baker level ($ 20 / £ 15) you a digital copy of the game on Switch.

The outgoing mindThe outgoing mind

The financial goal for the Kickstarter is just over £ 7,000 and just under $ 10,000, and it’s halfway there! If you want to make a contribution, Check out the various backer rewards and stretch goals here. There are also a free demo on Steamif you want to try before you buy snacks before you come back.

Does The Outbound Ghost look like your kind of paper game? Let us know in the comments!

Tons of of creepy Disney-style castles sit deserted in Turkish ghost city

200 km east of Istanbul, Turkey, near the Roman spa town of Mudurnu, lies the surreal haunting village of Burj Al Babas.

Dreamed of by two Turkish real estate developers with the intention of being a luxurious European-style holiday town, what was intended as a fairytale village today sees hundreds of castle-inspired mini-castles half-finished, empty and quickly derelict.

The economic downturn and the weakening of the Turkish currency have left many companies unable to pay the large foreign currency debt they borrowed to fund projects, resulting in many companies filing for bankruptcy and failing to complete projects .

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

The economic downturn and the weakening of the Turkish currency have left many companies unable to pay the large foreign currency debt they borrowed to fund projects, resulting in many companies filing for bankruptcy and failing to complete projects .

The 732 planned Disney-like turreted properties would form an idyllic new vacation resort that would also feature Turkish baths, health and beauty shops.

350 investor groups brought the dream with them and agreed to buy the villas for values ​​between $ 370,000 and $ 530,000 (NZD 530,433 to NZD 759,810).

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However, a perfect storm crashed the project in late 2018 when a failed political coup rocketed the Turkish economy and skyrocketed construction costs, turning the development into $ 27 million in debt Million NZD) crashed and the builders left. Behind the project is the Sarot Group, bankrupt.

Construction of the luxury residential project began in 2014 and was aimed at building 732 villas, a shopping mall and entertainment facilities for foreign vacationers.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Construction of the luxury residential project began in 2014 and was aimed at building 732 villas, a shopping mall and entertainment facilities for foreign vacationers.

The chairman of the Sarot Group, Mehmet Emin Yerdelen, told the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet at the time that the judicial insolvency of his company and the subsequent construction freeze were due to investors who had not met their purchase obligation.

“We couldn’t get claims of $ 7.5 million for the villas we sold to Gulf States,” Yerdelen is quoted as saying. “We filed for bankruptcy protection, but the court ruled bankruptcy. We will appeal the verdict.

“The project is valued at $ 200 million,” he said. “We only have to sell 100 villas to pay off our debts. I believe we can overcome this crisis in 4-5 months and partially inaugurate the project in 2019.”

Hundreds of castle-like villas and houses are unfinished in the Burj Al Babas housing estate in Turkey.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Hundreds of castle-like villas and houses are unfinished in the Burj Al Babas housing estate in Turkey.

Although the company received a small reprieve in February 2019 when a majority of creditors voted to reopen the building, construction has never progressed and today the estate is empty, more similar Banksy’s decrepit Dismaland than the magical kingdom.

The abandoned 587 villas, some of which have been built, are an eerie sight and are still waiting for their fairytale end.