A bowl from Obey Poke, part of Joseph Richard Group’s Meal Ticket Brands launch. (submitted photo)

FOOD

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

A Surrey-based hospitality company has launched a series of “ghost restaurants” as a way to meet growing consumer demand for delivered meals.

Joseph Richard Group’s Meal Ticket Brands venture involves delivery-only restaurant offerings, following a year of research and development by operators of the chain.

The concept involves “repurposing traditional kitchen spaces” already part of the JRG group, and using existing third-party delivery services.

On Monday (April 22), the company boasted about opening “100 restaurants in one day across the Fraser Valley” as part of its effort to “disrupt” the local restaurant industry.

The launched brands include Obey Poke, Stak’d Sandwich Co., Bun + Burger, Power Plant Greens and more, with others to come. Each menu has been crafted by JRG’s culinary team, which includes executive chef Andy Slinn and David Jorge, Surrey’s Master Chef Canada winner.

“These ‘Ghost Restaurants’ will service customers through an online-only delivery concept, operating with increased efficiencies to streamline the operations process,” JRG said in a release. “The concept allows for brands to build out a number of cuisines, effectively optimizing their ability to cater to the ever-changing tastes and trends of consumers.”

JRG, founded in 2009 by Surrey-area childhood friends Andre ‘Joseph’ Bourque and Ryan ‘Richard’ Moreno, now includes 25 public houses, restaurants and liquor retail outlets in B.C. and Alberta.

“It’s a shift in the industry and we want to get out there and be a leader with this,” Moreno told the Now-Leader in a phone interview.

The Meal Ticket Brands launch is “a testament to the continued popularity of food delivery services,” he said.

“Through innovative technology and an incredible team, we’ve been able to disrupt the status quo and offer a new way for our customers to enjoy a variety of unique cuisines.”

On the Meal Ticket website, those who order menu items from the new brands are linked to the Skip the Dishes delivery service.

“I’ve come around on the idea that food in a restaurant is supposed to only be cooked there and served right there, that’s just the way it’s supposed to be,” Moreno said. “But things have progressed and the growth of delivered food is just exponential to the point where people are telling you that’s what they want.”

Moreno said Meal Ticket Brands is “certainly not something I believe is going to eliminate restaurants – there’ll always be a need for restaurants, somewhere to go for birthdays, a night out with friends, whatever the event. This isn’t going to replace that, but this is going to change the industry, for sure, in a lot of ways. It re-purposes restaurants…. Equipment’s equipment, it’s the people behind the stove that make all the difference. It’s all about consumer demands.”

Eventually, Moreno said, some kitchen-only operations will open under the Meal Ticket Brands banner.

“We’re close on some of those,” he said. “Those places will be set up to do only deliveries, not a dine-in experience. We have some strategic partnerships in place, to partner with operators to use other facilities.”

On Saturday (April 27), JRG’s Blank Canvas Catering division will serve country-style food during One Night in the Valley, a fundraiser at Cloverdale Agriplex featuring a performance by Dallas Smith. The gala concert will benefit Variety – the Children’s Charity.

• RELATED STORIES:

Dallas Smith to play Cloverdale in ‘One Night in the Valley’ concert.

‘MasterChef Canada’ winner goes to work on JRG menus

‘Two Pals’ beer launched by Surrey’s JRG restaurant/pub operators



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Former Cloverdale youth pastor guilty of one count of sexual assault

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Samuel Emerson not guilty of majority of charges

Athletes to mentor Surrey students with $720K boost for ‘Classroom Champions’

Program will involve close to 6,000 students and 150 teachers over the next three years

Transgender inmate loses court case against Surrey Pretrial

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Surrey agency receives $250K to open ‘no cost’ legal clinic

Law Foundation of B.C. provided the grant to Sources Community Resources Society

Surrey to get 314 new child care spaces

These will be at 13 places throughout the city, Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains announced Wednesday

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

Most Read