- Ghost Financial, a financing platform for ghost kitchen operators, announced Friday it is now the exclusive financial partner for custom food truck and mobile ghost kitchen manufacturer Cruising Kitchens. Ghost Financial will provide Cruising Kitchens up to $100 million in financing and customized insurance, and serve as its preferred card provider through 2025.
- The funding will support the creation of CK Ghost Kitchens, a new division within Cruising Kitchens, according to an emailed statement. The division will focus on licensing agreements with celebrities, influencers and athletes to create specialty ghost kitchens and food trucks with themed menus.
- The partnership comes a month after Ghost Financial launched GhostU, a MasterClass-style video series designed to help restaurateurs develop and scale profitable ghost kitchens.
Ghost Financial’s collaboration with Cruise Kitchens suggests confidence in the ghost kitchen market’s longevity despite what CEO John Meyer considers to be a low success rate among ghost kitchen operators.
Major chains are still betting big on the segment’s potential, as well. In March, Wendy’s announced ghost kitchen units would make up half of its 2022 store growth, with plans to open 150 to 200 such units with Reef. This would mark a fivefold increase in the company’s deployment ghost kitchens based on the 30 Reef vessels operating as Wendy’s kitchens at the time.
Ghost Financial believes its collaboration with Cruise Kitchens will allow more legacy QSRs to “leverage comprehensive financing options” to enter new markets and grow off-premise revenue, according to its press release.
“We couldn’t be more excited for the size, scale, and impact of what’s to come,” Meyer said in a statement.
Cruising Kitchens has already struck deals with Whataburger, Gordon Ramsay, the L.A. Dodgers and Steph Curry and Ayesha Curry, and is in talks with athlete and brand marketing agency Voltage MGMT. It recently expanded its operations with a 240,000-square-foot addition to its production space.
“We are primed now to completely take over the ghost kitchens space,” Cameron Davies, CEO of Cruising Kitchens, said in an emailed statement. “CK GHOST will be a one-stop shop that provides everything from permitting to in-house leasing. ... We aim to provide opportunities like never before seen in a space that is currently wide open.”
Ghost Financial will also give Cruising Kitchens customers access to its cashback rewards card, which is designed to boost operator margins up to 10%.