Florida Foodie: The man behind Central Florida’s first ghost kitchen

Owner of Kitchen AF talks about what is driving ghost kitchen trend

A smartphone provides shortcuts to all kinds of information and services. There are apps that will bring groceries to your door, to find handymen for household fixes and to order hot meals, all on-demand.

This on-demand ecosystem has proved the perfect breeding ground for a new type of restaurant, known as the ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens are virtual restaurants. There’s no dining room and no delivery drivers on staff. That’s the business model behind Central Florida’s first ghost kitchen, Kitchen AF.

If you arrive at the physical location, you’ll only find a pickup window and instructions on how to order through an app, such as Uber Eats or Door Dash. The whole business is designed to be run through those apps, allowing Kitchen AF to be several different restaurants rolled into one.

To learn more about how it all works, News 6 spoke with the owner of Kitchen AF, Jim Marshall. He explains how he’s been running virtual restaurants for years, his first attempt at running a ghost kitchen and what the AF in Kitchen AF means -- sort of.

Be sure to follow Lisa Bell online on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out her children’s books, “Norman the Watchful Gnome.”

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.