The landscape for virtual food ordering

The online ordering market for food in the United States is estimated to be $26.8 billion and is the fastest-growing source of restaurant sales in the United States, according to David Portalatin, a food industry adviser for the NPD group.

Currently, digital orders, while still accounting for just 5% of all restaurant orders, are growing some 20% each year. Restaurant visits, meanwhile, remain mostly flat. With the rise of food delivery apps like Postmates and GrubHub, people are getting used to ordering food off their phones and having it delivered to their house.

This new trend we believe will give rise to even more types of food options.In the past, what dominated the food landscape was massive chains that had the size and scope to deliver large quantities of food throughout the U.S.

But with the advent of new apps like , cooks can partner up with available kitchens and prepare more customizable and unique dishes and offer them.

The rise of virtual restaurants are a way to test new concepts and to find new audiences for the food they create. Now chefs can create concepts and if they don’t work, they can move on to try another one. All that really is at risk is lost weeks of work, but not large sums of money.

Even the big chains are getting into the act with companies like Chick-Fil-A, The Halal Guys and Dog Haus that have opened ghost kitchens through Kitchen United, a start-up that builds kitchen commissaries for restaurants looking to enter new markets through delivery or take-out only.

For all of the food lovers out there, is a new entrant into the market that chefs and kitchen owners should welcome with open arms.