Uber and different supply apps preserve that they’re serving to eating places, not hurting them.

“We exist for demand era,” mentioned Ms. Sallenave. “Why would a restaurant be working with us if we weren’t serving to them enhance their orders?”

Delivery-only institutions in the USA date to not less than 2013, when a start-up, the Inexperienced Summit Group, started work on a ghost kitchen in New York. With Grubhub’s backing, Inexperienced Summit produced meals that was marketed on-line beneath model names like Leafage (salads) and Butcher Block (sandwiches).

However Inexperienced Summit burned by means of tons of of hundreds of {dollars} a month, mentioned Jason Shapiro, a marketing consultant who labored for the corporate. Two years in the past, it shut down when it couldn’t appeal to new buyers, he mentioned.

In Europe, the food-delivery app Deliveroo additionally began testing ghost kitchens. It erected metallic kitchen buildings known as Rooboxes in some unlikely areas, together with a derelict parking zone in East London. Final 12 months, Deliveroo opened a ghost kitchen in a warehouse in Paris, the place Uber Eats has additionally tried delivery-only kitchens.

Ghost kitchens have additionally emerged in China, the place on-line meals supply apps are extensively used within the nation’s densely populated megacities. China’s meals supply trade hit $70 billion in orders final 12 months, in accordance with iResearch, an evaluation agency. One Chinese language ghost kitchen start-up, Panda Chosen, just lately raised $50 million from buyers together with Tiger International Administration, in accordance with Crunchbase.

These experiments have unfold. Over the past two years, Household Model, a meals start-up in Los Angeles, has opened ghost kitchens in three states. It has created greater than half a dozen pizza manufacturers with names like Lorenzo’s of New York, Froman’s Chicago Pizza and Gabriella’s New York Pizza, which will be discovered on Uber Eats and different apps.