Walmart is no stranger to housing fast-food operations within its stores, so it comes as no surprise that the discount retailer is hopping on the popular ghost kitchen trend. Walmart is teaming up with Ghost Kitchen Brands to open pick-up and delivery restaurant locations, and the new partnership will allow customers in Canada to tack dinner onto their orders.
The Walmart ghost kitchens will prepare food from several different fast-food brands, including The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, Monster Cupcakes, Quiznos, Pepe's Perogies, Rocky's Italian, Saladworks, and Slush Puppie. They'll also double as digital pantries that offer one-off items like Ben&Jerry's ice cream and Red Bull beverages.
All of the kitchens will prepare fresh food on-site, and customers will have the option to pick up their order or get it delivered directly to their door—just like any other third-party delivery service. The first of the ghost kitchens is now open at the Walmart in St. Catherines. The partnership will expand into four additional stores later this year: Woodstock, Saint-Constant, Toronto, and Lachenaie. Pricing and similar details remain unknown at this time.
"We believe in Ghost Kitchen's strategy and vision, and we're very excited to be the first retailer to team up with Ghost Kitchens," Sam Hamam, senior director of licensees at Walmart Canada, said in a statement. "We're always looking at ways to improve our customer shopping experience with greater access to affordable products, services, and brands."
Though this is the first big-box partnership for Ghost Kitchen Brands, it isn't the first time that a retailer has added ghost kitchens at its stores. Last year, Kroger opened two ghost kitchens in the Midwest as part of a partnership with the tech-startup ClusterTruck. Walmart hasn't yet announced any plans for ghost kitchens in the U.S., which means that only Canadian customers will be able to enjoy the new service for the time being.
For the latest trends, check out the 6 Most Anticipated Fast-Food Menu Items Launching This Year. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all of the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.