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Nathan's Famous to add 100 units with Ghost Kitchen Brands, many in Walmarts

The off-premise-focused outlets will roughly double Nathan's virtual footprint in the U.S. and Canada.
Nathan's Famous food
Photograph courtesy of Nathan’s Famous

Nathan's Famous is adding to its growing network of virtual outposts under a new partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands that will bring the hot dog chain to 100 nontraditional locations this year.

The deal includes 60 U.S. locations and 40 in Canada. Many of them will be inside Walmart stores, Nathan's said.

Ghost Kitchen Brands operates kitchens with multiple brands for pickup or delivery by a third party. The Canada-based company has partnerships with restaurant chains like Quiznos, Saladworks and now Nathan's as well as packaged goods purveyors like Red Bull and Ben & Jerry's. Customers can order from any combination of those brands on a single ticket.

It currently has 25 outlets in Canada and 30 under construction in the U.S., in Walmarts. Its growth strategy is focused on nontraditional locations like retail stores, airports and universities.

Nathan's has been quickly growing its virtual, delivery-only presence with Reef Kitchens, Franklin Junction and partnerships with independent restaurants. It opened its 100th virtual location in February, meaning the Ghost Kitchen Brands deal would roughly double its current virtual footprint. It also had 224 brick-and-mortar units at the end of 2020, according to Technomic.

"We’re excited to continue our expansion across the U.S. and Canada, and this partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands grows our footprint even more," said James Walker, Nathan's senior vice president, restaurants.

In the U.S., Ghost Kitchen Brands will offer both Nathan's regular menu of hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches and fries as well as a new virtual chicken wing brand called Wings of New York. 

In late March, Saladworks inked a similar deal with Ghost Kitchens that will bring it to 90 locations in U.S. and Canada.

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