By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The restaurant business has never been more complicated than now. One new trend you may have heard of is ‘ghost kitchens.’

CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo explains how their presence is helping shape fast-casual food delivery in South Florida.

When you order your favorite food using an app, you care how fast it gets there and how good it tastes. These are two factors at the heart of Reef Kitchens – from Miami-based Reef technology.

The concept takes underutilized urban spaces like parking lots and places mobile kitchens, also called “ghost kitchens” in neighborhoods. Then they partner with local restaurants to prepare their exact foods.

“We license the brand so we have all of the recipes, all of the procedures everything like that and they work with us on that. They train us and coach us and our employees in the kitchen vessels cooking. So when you go to UberEats or GrubHub and you order BurgerFi chances the food will be made at Reef,” explained Carl Segal, CEO of Reef.

BurgerFi is a South Florida based restaurant chain, with 125 restaurants in 20 states. They partnered with Reef in April.

“So our partnership with Reef allows us to enhance our customer experience. 
Reef allowed us to reach a whole new audience in the Downtown Miami market that previously was untapped for BurgerFi,” said Charles Guzzetta, President of BurgerFi.

He said when someone orders BurgerFi on an App, they are getting an authentic BurgerFi burger from a Reef mobile vessel.

“Reef is working with us and our culinary to team and our training team to serve exactly the same all-natural burger products that our customers have known to love at BurgerFi restaurants, right from the Reef Kitchen vessels,”  said Guzzetta.

Right now Reef is operating in Brickell, Wynwood, Kendall, and Fort Lauderdale, hiring locally.

Reef Kitchens were born before COVID, and their business is actually exponentially growing due to the pandemic.

“The customers need us because they want delivery to their homes and the restaurants need us certainly because it’s a way to connect to the customer and keep their business and their brands alive for sure,” said Segal.

You should expect to see more from Reef Kitchens in South Florida with some pretty exciting names.  

They tell us they have plans to work with some local top chefs such as Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz in the very near future.

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Lisa Petrillo