ShiftPixy Ghost Kitchen and Culinary Incubator Moves Headquarters to Miami
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A California-based tech company has targeted Miami as its new home – and also its first major ghost kitchen incubator project.
In October ShiftPixy moved its headquarters to Miami. Co-founded by Scott Absher and Steve Holmes, the company aims to revolutionize the way restaurateurs and their shift workers do business.
As part of that goal, ShiftPixy has decided to host its first ghost kitchen incubator, ShiftPixy Labs, in Miami.
“The aim of the ShiftPixy platform is to make the part-time labor market more efficient,” said Absher, Chief Executive Officer of ShiftPixy. “Workers can receive valuable benefits such as health insurance and compensation, while operators have access to the tools they need to comply with labor laws or streamline time-consuming administrative tasks.”
The three-year-old was founded to serve the growing segment of U.S. workers who are expected to enter the gig economy as freelance workers – a number that is projected to reach roughly 50 percent of the U.S. population by 2027 . It does this by helping workers translate multiple-time jobs into a full-time source of income, while at the same time connecting them to companies and business owners to fill open roles quickly.
Absher told New Times that by expanding his presence on the East Coast, he would like to expand the company’s US presence as well as expanding into emerging markets in the Caribbean, South America and Europe.
“Miami has long been on our roadmap due to requests from operators in Europe and Latin America and the city is ideal as a base not only for expansion in the US, but also for the growth of new markets,” he says.
ShiftPixy Labs, meanwhile, is planning to recruit entrepreneurs and produce a competition-based show – think Shark Tank meets Iron Chef – to be streamed on YouTube.
ShiftPixy hopes to help curate and grow restaurant and quick service brands prepared to enter the digital market.
Photo courtesy ShiftPixy
ShiftPixy Labs will occupy 23,000 square feet on 4101 NW 25th St. near Miami International Airport – a location chosen to provide efficient 30 minute delivery routes for counties Miami-Dade and Broward.
According to Absher, the project will serve as a model for the company to open similar facilities across the country. Unlike other large or community-based ghost kitchens – commission kitchens where restaurateurs can only provide menus for deliveries to third-party platforms like Uber Eats and GrubHub – ShiftPixy Labs offers more than just digital services for restaurants. It is also used as an incubator for entrepreneurs who want to expand their concepts without the hassle of opening a stationary location.
The Incubator also provides free access to ShiftPixy’s suite of marketing and support-based technology services, so restaurants can avoid commission fees for third-party delivery services. Instead, restaurant owners can save customer data when orders are placed through their own digital properties.
“ShiftPixy Labs will help us bring new culinary ideas to life that are best suited to adapting to the digital market,” says Absher. “Our goal is to fill the lab with unique concepts and turn them into big digital brands. We plan to work with clients who are willing to rethink the implementation of their concepts and rethink or test new ways for better ones and become more agile digital marketers. Overall, restaurants can leverage our technology to get insights and advice on what exactly they need to run an outside business. “
Since the pandemic, ghost kitchens have developed into a growing segment of the digital-based restaurant industry. Euromonitor reports a $ 1 trillion global business is expected to emerge by 2030. To date, big ghost kitchens – including Zuul Kitchens in NYC – KitchenUnited of Pasadena and CloudKitchens, the startup of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, have raised more than $ 500 million in capital and are expected to be half of the total by 2022 Replace the dine-in volume.
In response to this tremendous shift in the industry, the founders of ShiftPixy believe their technology platform – combined with market research initiatives through the ShiftPixy Labs incubator – will provide a blueprint for building and operating a successful ghost kitchen. As part of the project, streaming content will be created in a studio to inform restaurateurs about creating, designing, launching and marketing a digital brand.
“Essentially, our goal is to show others how to create a digital concept from scratch,” says Absher. “We’re trying to show them that this process isn’t as scary as they think and we can help. It’ll be a lot of fun.”
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who has been reporting on the South Florida food scene for the New Times since 2011. She also enjoys drinking beer and writing about the growing craft beer community in the region.