Since the pandemic hit, hundreds of restaurants across the U.S. like Krazy Hog Barbecue in Chicago have remained temporarily closed as they figure out the right time to reboot their businesses.
Some won’t ever come back.
Today, DoorDash launched a plan to give these brands a fighting chance by matching them with ghost kitchen facilities through a new program called Reopen for Delivery.
Krazy Hog, a full service restaurant that has been temporarily closed since the onset of the pandemic, will be the first brand to take advantage of the program.
“We couldn’t plan for the pandemic,” Krazy Hog owner Dana Cooksey said in a statement. “The first thing I thought of when I heard the executive order in March was, ‘Who is going to feed our customers? There was a massive fear factor – the future was uncertain and overnight our business came to a halt.”
Krazy Hog plans to reopen a new brick and mortar restaurant soon in Chicago. In the meantime, the barbecue concept has hooked up with DoorDash to reboot the business through a delivery only model.
Krazy Hog will be preparing its menu, known for its pork rib tips, in virtual kitchen facility Á La Couch. The company provides restaurants with kitchen spaces designed for off-premise orders. The ghost kitchen operator, located in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, also licenses brands.
“Our fully staffed kitchens handle cooking, delivery, and fulfillment on behalf of restaurant partners so they can focus on what they do best,” the company states on its website.
Restaurant brands listed on the company’s site include Wow Bao, Tender Canteen, Mac’d, Momo Noodle, The Bombay Frankie Company and SINI.
Victor Cooksey said DoorDash has stepped in to help his restaurant build an off premise operation until he and his wife can ultimately reopen their new restaurant.
DoorDash, which operates a ghost kitchen facility in Northern California, plans to use this model to revive other closed restaurants. The company, however, has not named any other restaurant partnerships.
Krazy Hog owners Dana and Victor Cooksey are featured in “Southside Magnolia,” a documentary by Rodney Lucas that chronicles how COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the two Black entrepreneurs in Chicago.
“The South Side is the heart of resilience, and we see that through the Cookseys’ story. They’ve never accepted their fate as being closed and fought to reopen,” Rodney Lucas said in a statement. “They have an entrepreneurial spirit that runs generations deep and an unwavering faith. COVID wasn’t going to stop them.”