Chicken wing chain Wingstop opened its first ghost kitchen in the U.S. on Wednesday, the latest step in the brand’s plan to go 100% digital.
The ghost kitchen in the chain’s hometown of Dallas measures less than 400 square feet, less than a quarter of the size of an average Wingstop location. It offers a full menu and handles deliveries only.
“We have a goal to digitize 100% of transactions as we drive to become a top 10 global restaurant brand, and we believe ghost kitchens are a great step for the brand as delivery and digital sales continue to increase,” Wingstop Chairman and CEO Charlie Morrison said in a statement.
Wingstop has thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly shifting all of its 1,413 locations to takeout and delivery only. April same-store sales increased 33.4%, with 65% of sales coming via digital channels, up from 47% before the pandemic.
An “enterprising franchisee” in the U.K. was the first to try a Wingstop ghost kitchen, Morrison told Restaurant Business in May.
Following the Dallas ghost kitchen launch, “We expect those to show up in cities all over the U.S.,” he said.