A Virtual Restaurant is a restaurant that has a full menu but does not exist in it’s own space. These menus only exist online on platforms like Grubhub and are only for delivery.
Virtual Restaurants use a shared kitchen with another business to cook their food. Sometimes these are partnerships and other times the restaurant itself wants to experiment with a new flavor so they’ll build a second menu only available online and cook the food in the same kitchen.
Think of your favorite local mom and pop italian restaurant–Antonio’s–whose chef, Antonio, has a passion for Korean infused tacos. Antonio might make a virtual restaurant online to sell those delicious tacos under the name Krazi Kimchi Tacos.
A virtual restaurant order may be located in various types of buildings such as:
- a physical restaurant (i.e. Antonio’s) that's producing a secondary, virtual concept
- a commissary space that's not a restaurant, just a production kitchen which is usually a converted warehouse or generally nondescript building.
- These may also be known as Ghost Kitchens, Pop-Up Kitchens, Pop-Up Virtual Restaurants, Cloud Kitchens, Shared Kitchens, etc.
- food trucks
How does this impact you?
If you receive an order for a virtual restaurant the order itself will have the name of the virtual restaurant but there is no sign hanging outside of a restaurant with this name nor is it likely to be on a map.
For this reason it’s extremely important that you read the pickup instructions carefully. These instructions should tell you exactly where to pick up the food.
For example, if you received an order for Krazi Kimchi Tacos you’d walk up to the provided address and all you’d see is Antonio’s. But in the pick-up instructions it might say something like:
Krazi Kimchi Tacos is located inside of Antonio’s. This is a virtual restaurant. All orders being placed for Krazi Kimchi Tacos are to be picked up from inside of Antonio’s. Please park and go inside and let them know you are from Grubhub ready to pick up the order for Krazi Kimchi Tacos. Thanks!
Check out this article for more information about Pick Up and Delivery Instructions.
Are all Pick Up Instructions the same? Will they all say Virtual Restaurant?
While we’re working hard to standardize these instructions, they are not all the same. Some may say Virtual Restaurants while others might say Virtual Concept or Ghost Kitchen.
Are all Virtual Restaurants inside an already established brick and mortar restaurant?
No. Some of these restaurants are in food trucks while others may be in warehouses that they share with other virtual restaurants. The pick up instructions will specify where to go to pick up the food.
What do I do if I can’t find the restaurant?
Call the restaurant using the phone option from the Grubhub for Drivers app. Let them know you’re there to pick up an order and you’re having trouble locating the entrance.
Can the Grubhub Care team help me locate the entrance?
No. The only thing our Care team can do is to call the restaurant. Calling Care first will only add time to your delivery.
Will I know it's a virtual restaurant when I receive the offer?
You'll see a VR orange flag where the restaurant is. This is an indicator of a Virtual Restaurant.