PHILADELPHIA - Have you heard of a ghost kitchen? It's basically professional kitchens set up for delivery only and have been taking off across the country for months amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some say it’s hurting the restaurant industry right now, while others say it’s a lifeline to survive.
If you've placed an order from a food delivery service recently your meal may not have been cooked inside a restaurant at all. There's a good chance it was prepared in a ghost kitchen, no dining room, with delivery only.
"In the middle of North Philly, it's a warehouse full of kitchens, and I happen to be one of them," Ruben Harley, chef at Big Rube Kitchen, said.
He was planning on opening up a restaurant when COVID hit. Now, the only way to get his West Philly fried chicken and OG cheesesteaks is through delivery.
They are all cooked out of a one room kitchen near Broad and Girard, which is home to dozens of other ghost kitchens. There's another on 33rd and Fairmount.
Big Rube gets his orders online and delivery drivers are there to pick up in minutes.
"People are allowed to get my food seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the orders come nonstop," he explained.
The YouTube sensation Mr. Beast has opened up 400 ghost kitchens nationwide.
Big Rube says you'll never replace the in-person experience of a restaurant. He just wanted to see smiles again
"I want to feed people in person. Give my real smile. Joy to the world with great food on their plate," he said.
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