Hungry New Yorkers ordering meals through such online services as Seamless or Eat24 order everything from sushi to burgers to tacos. But when they order from certain restaurants like Leafage and Butcher Block, they might not realize that those restaurants aren’t restaurants at all. They are virtual eateries created by a company called the Green Summit Group that operates several food-delivery services out of central commissaries in midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Chicago. In New York alone, Green Summit’s brands offer all sorts of cuisine “concepts,” including meatballs, salad/sandwich/juice, and burgers/grilled cheese.
Green Summit is just one example of a growing wave of ghost restaurants that skip the storefront and bring food straight to the customer. These places range from the David Chang-backed delivery startup Maple to ready-to-eat meal services like Munchery to new business models like the integrated kitchen/delivery firm Good Uncle.