facebook pixal

Another 'ghost restaurant' calls it quits

sprig food

Sprig, one of a thinning group of delivery-only “ghost restaurants,” ceased operations today because the model doesn’t work, CEO Gagan Biyani said in an email directed at employers, customers and the media.

“The demand for Sprig’s convenient, high-quality food was always incredibly high, but the complexity of owning meal production through delivery at scale was a challenge,” Biyani wrote.

The service’s demise follows by less than three weeks the shutdown of Maple, a similar service. Both offered meals prepared in their commissary kitchens, usually located in off-street locations since no dining room or walk-in areas were attached, and delivered via a fleet of bicycles or representatives on foot. Customers placed orders through an app.

In announcing the discontinuation of service, Biyani noted that restaurant delivery, and third-party delivery in particular, has grown exponentially in the four years since Sprig was hatched, a suggestion that it might have felt the competition.

Unlike third-party services, which deliver food carrying established restaurants’ brands, Sprig was trying to establish its own identity as a source of prepared meals.

Capital was not an issue. Sprig had received some $45 million in backing.

Its closing comes as a number of big-name restaurant chains, including Buffalo Wild Wings, Olive Garden and Red Robin, have voiced interest in trying a format where prepared food would be sold exclusively for off-premise consumption.

Biyani said in his email that all of Sprig’s employees would be given two months’ severance and assistance in finding new jobs.

He noted that he will take some time for personal reflection, and “then off to the next venture.”

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


A tweet comes between Grubhub and McDonald's franchisees

The Bottom Line: The fast-food burger chain’s former top U.S. corporate relations officer said, “cry me a river” in a now-deleted tweet about McDonald’s franchisees. It didn’t go over well, either with them or his new employer, Grubhub.


Burger King borrows preps from fine dining to innovate the menu

The burger chain’s new culinary focus reflects head chef Chad Brauze’s experience and passion gained in Michelin-starred restaurants.


Why the 2021 restaurant buying spree may come back to haunt some operators

The Bottom Line: Franchisees in particular jumped at the chance to scoop up restaurants in 2021, often paying sky-high multiples in the process. And then inflation hit.


More from our partners