One of the biggest players in food is launching a delivery-only virtual brand.
Pepsi on Monday debuted Pep's Place, a "fast-beverage" virtual restaurant that will operate mainly out of Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que locations in select markets for a limited time. It's a first for the company, and is part of a new national campaign promoting Pepsi as a food accompaniment.
Pep's Place will reflect that by pairing menu items with different Pepsi flavors. Customers can choose one of eight Pepsi drinks including regular Pepsi as well as Diet, Wild Cherry and Zero Sugar. Their selection will then prompt suggested food pairings. (To go with the "tropical splash" of Pepsi Mango, for instance, Pep's Place recommends the mild chile flavor of its Buffalo wings.)
Other menu items include burgers, salads, ribs and chicken sandwiches, and Pep's Place will also sell sides such as mac and cheese and Lay's chips.
The Pep's Place website lists locations at Famous Dave's addresses in 25 states. The barbecue concept is a PepsiCo customer.
Customers can order through that branded website as well as through DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub for the next 30 days.
Pepsi is not the first food brand to use the ghost kitchen format to market products. Unilever has a similar initiative called The Ice Cream Shop, and several brands including Red Bull have partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands to sell their products that way.