Ghost kitchen model set to open while restaurant finishes facility renovations
Skyviews Restaurant of Texas Tech will launch its to-go Pizza Kitchen service on Monday (Mar. 1) at the usual location — 1901 University Ave. The menu features 14-inch Neapolitan pizzas, salads and subs, sides, and a dessert menu. Customers can place their order online for pickup. Plans for Skyviews' regular lunch buffet and dinner series service are currently on hold while Skyviews undergoes final renovations.
In order to meet growing demand and facilitate student learning experiences, faculty and staff in the Department of Hospitality and Retail Management set out to find a way to navigate Skyviews service during a pandemic and while undergoing renovations. Department chair, Robert P. Jones, said that the concept of a ghost kitchen was gaining popularity across the hospitality field.
"A ghost kitchen is essentially a restaurant that operates for pick-up without the availability of in-house dining," Jones explained. "Generally, ghost kitchens have a new name and menu for their business such as Chuck E. Cheese's Pasqually's menu concept."
For Skyviews Restaurant's executive chef, Jason Lindley, the main goal is to still be able to provide the real-world lunch and dinner restaurant experience for students – even if the format looks much different this semester.
"Working in a ghost kitchen is going to give them a look to what's going on in foodservice with COVID-19, how businesses are staying open, and possibly what the future of dining may evolve into," Lindley said.
Unique to a ghost kitchen business model, students will now be able to utilize new technology associated with the online Skyviews Pizza Kitchen ordering system.
"The ghost kitchen could be a viable revenue source going forward for Skyviews and allowing for a new course which could appeal to students from across the campus," Jones said. "We are excited to offer students the opportunity to engage in a current restaurant trend as a part of their education in the Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional (RHIM) program."
See the Pizza Kitchen menu here.