As business dried up during Covid-19 lockdowns last year, many restaurants fell behind on rent and had to lay off employees. That was especially true for Black-owned restaurants, which struggled to gain access to emergency capital early on.
But restaurateurs who can no longer afford a traditional brick-and-mortar operation have found a lifeline in the form of food trucks, food halls and ghost kitchens.
Ghost kitchens are typically delivery or take-out-only operations that reduce overhead costs for restaurant owners. They have become immensely popular during the pandemic. Food halls offer a similar flexibility, renting out equipment and space to independent food service operators in a food-court-like setting.