business news in context, analysis with attitude

We wrote yesterday about Kroger's successful ghost kitchen initiative, prompting one MNB reader to ask:

What’s a ghost kitchen?

Fair point - I shouldn't assume that all MNB readers are familiar with all the things we write about here.

EHL Insights defines a ghost kitchen this way:

Ghost kitchens are also referred to as micro-cloud kitchens or virtual kitchens. They refer to restaurants that don't offer dine-in services. They are built to fulfill online orders, hence their menus are only available to customers that require delivery. Think of it as a co-working space. There are no tables or walk-in customers. You just rent a space, create a menu and start selling your food to online customers through third-party delivery apps. 

Some ghost kitchens serve as a way for restaurants to move their take-out business to another location, where to-go orders won't overburden the restaurant's kitchen.  In Kroger's case, its ghost kitchens are developed in partnership with ClusterTruck, a technology start-up that operates delivery-only restaurants.  The kitchens provide a variety of freshly prepared meals on-demand with no service or delivery fees, and allow Kroger to spread its bets around a bit.

Responding to yesterday's FaceTime video about eliminating friction and emphasizing communication, one MNB reader wrote:

I wonder if any grocery store execs, especially those who work for the market share leader in the Bay Area, took your FaceTime to heart about eliminating friction.  Stop by any of their stores, at any time of day when you are here this week and you will see friction in action at check-out with long lines and non-existent bagging skills - if there's bagging help at all.  When I shop, I can bet I'll hear a beleaguered employee asking for checking help, not once, but sometimes 3 times.   It's no wonder delivery has grown as much as it has. 

And another MNB reader wrote something that resonated with me:

Whenever you mention your education by nuns my knuckles begin to hurt.

It was an education.  Very little of it had to do with books.