QDOBA to test ghost kitchens in 3 cities

A cauliflower bowel of Qdoba food.

Written by James Shea

Fast-casual restaurant QDOBA has started a ghost kitchen pilot project with REEF. The projects take place in Seattle, Austin and Atlanta and could include up to 25 locations in each city.

Many national chains are testing expansion through ghost kitchens including Wendy’s and Cracker Barrel. The ghost kitchen model is seen as a way to expand quickly with minimal capital investment.

“Our strategic relationship with REEF’s innovative team empowers us to meet the increasing demand of flavor seekers across the US in an operations-minded and more sustainable way,” QDOBA CEO Keith Guilbault said. “REEF’s culinary ecosystem will give us the tools needed to grow and celebrate our flagship menu items, like our signature Queso & Chips, without compromising quality, freshness or flavor.”

Like all QDOBA restaurants, the new REEF locations will offer a menu of fresh ingredients. Guests can build their own flavorful masterpiece by choosing from a variety of entrée options, including burritos, bowls, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and salads.

“By combining REEF’s innovative model and QDOBA’s signature flavors, neighborhoods across the country will now have a new and convenient way to have their favorite menu items delivered directly,” REEF Kitchens President Michael Beacham said. “We’re excited to be able to bring QDOBA closer to its loyal fans as well as introducing it to new customers through this partnership.”

REEF has expanded quickly but has also run into questions of quality control. Chef David Chang launched a delivery-only chicken brand with Reef but eventually canceled the contract due to poor quality and huge delays in fulfilling orders.

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