- Rego Restaurant Group, owner of the Quiznos and Taco Del Mar restaurant brands, has partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands to bring 70 nontraditional units to the U.S. and 30 to Canada by the end of the year, according to a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive. Most of these locations are slated to be inside Walmart stores.
- Ghost Kitchen Brands will offer a select menu of popular offerings from both brands and allow customers to order from both restaurants in one transaction.
- Rego joins a growing list of chains that have partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands within the last few months, including Wow Bao and Saladworks. Ghost Kitchen Brands works with over 20 restaurant brands and consumer packaged goods companies.
This partnership will give Quiznos and Taco Del Mar an expanded growth opportunity outside of brick-and-mortar locations. The restaurants previously partnered with Ghost Kitchen Brands earlier this year to open units inside four Walmarts in Canada.
"After successful pilots of the program earlier this year, we are confident that this concept, which reimagines food delivery, will ensure our consumers continue to receive the same level of service they have come to expect from Taco Del Mar and Quiznos," Ron McRae, Rego Restaurant Group's marketing director, said in the press release.
Rego is innovating the Quiznos brand beyond ghost kitchen units as well. In February, the sandwich chain unveiled a redesign including a drive-thru and new menu categories, with store prototypes set to open this year, according to a press release.
The addition of these 100 ghost kitchen units and Quiznos' new store design mark a new phase for the chain, which once numbered 5,000 units. The restaurant's store count has declined rapidly since 2007 due to the Great Recession, heavy office concentration and increased competition, according to QSR Magazine. The company declared bankruptcy in 2014, but High Bluff Capital-backed Rego bought the chain in 2018. Unit counts continued to decline, however, from 500 units to only 300 during the last four years, with sales dropping 11% in 2019 compared to 2018, QSR Magazine reports.
The company came out of the pandemic actively seeking new multi-unit agreements with franchisees. Ghost kitchens could also help Quiznos grow diner awareness of its brand and broaden its customer base, especially since the majority of its new Ghost Kitchen Brands units will be at Walmart locations.