Resolutely at the forefront of foodservice innovation, Rich Products is collaborating with fast-growing startup Nextbite to launch a trio of on-trend virtual restaurants. The global, family-owned food company will use Dolly’s, its Buffalo, N.Y.-based world headquarters’ kitchen, as a ghost kitchen to bring three new virtual restaurants to Western New York: Grilled Cheese Society, Monster Mac and The Big Melt, with more slated to launch in the coming months.

“Virtual restaurants and delivery-only concepts are a huge part of the industry innovation wave sparked by the pandemic,” said Kevin Spratt, senior vice president, Group Business Channels, Rich Products. “Rich’s collaboration with Nextbite puts us at the leading edge of this emerging trend, enabling us to gain key learnings to help our customers solve major business challenges, navigate the post-pandemic recovery and test the future of foodservice.”

Using robust consumer demand insight and backed by deep restaurant and technology expertise, Nextbite has developed a portfolio of delivery-only brands, tapping into what is projected to be a $1 trillion global industry by 2030 (Euromonitor). The rise of virtual brands reflects a wave of innovation by the restaurant industry in response to COVID-19’s massive disruption.

Prior to today’s launch, Rich’s spent months conducting primary research—from thought leader interviews to surveys—to develop a variety of tools that help operators create and start their own ghost kitchen or virtual restaurant brand. From how-to guides on building a virtual brand menu, to tips and tricks for creating an impactful brand and choosing the right packaging, Rich’s is committed to growing its knowledge and sharing findings with operators that are looking for ways to increase revenue. 

Available through GrubHub and DoorDash in greater Buffalo, N.Y., menu highlights from Rich’s three new virtual restaurants include:

• Grilled Cheese Society: Signature takes on a favorite comfort food range from The Special (chorizo, queso fresco, pepper jack cheese, roasted jalapeños and red pepper mix and Society Sauce) to The Thursday with roasted turkey, bacon, muenster cheese, blue cheese crumbles, avocado spread and Society Sauce.
• Monster Mac: Classic mac and cheese topped with everything from spicy grilled buffalo chicken breast with blue cheese crumbles and green onions (Buffalo Mac) to Mexican street corn, queso fresco, roasted peppers and cilantro (Street Mac).
• The Big Melt: Patty melts from the Ha, Classic, featuring pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms and Awesome Sauce, to That’s the Way the Blue Cheese Crumbles, with Cajun seasoning, blue cheese crumbles and Sriracha ranch dressing.