Ghost Financial Injects $100M into Food Truck Manufacturer Cruising Kitchens

Diving Brief:

  • Ghost Financial, a financing platform for ghost kitchen operators, announced Friday that it is now the exclusive financial partner for custom food cart and mobile ghost kitchen manufacturer Cruising Kitchens. Ghost Financial will provide marine kitchens with up to $100 million in custom financing and insurance, and will serve as their preferred card provider through 2025.
  • The funding will support the creation of CK Ghost Kitchens, a new division within Cruising Kitchens, according to an emailed statement. The department will focus on licensing agreements with celebrities, influencers, and athletes to create specialty ghost kitchens and food trucks with themed menus.
  • The partnership comes a month after the launch of Ghost Financial GhostU, a MasterClass-style video series designed to help restaurants develop and expand profitable Ghost Kitchens.

Diving Insight:

Ghost Financial’s collaboration with Cruise Kitchens inspires confidence in the longevity of the ghost kitchen market despite what CEO John Meyer considers a low success rate among phantom kitchen operators.

Major chains are still betting big on this segment’s potential, too. In March, Wendy’s announced ghost kitchen units that it said would account for half of its store’s growth in 2022, with plans to open 150 to 200 such units with Reef. This would represent a fivefold increase in the company’s ghost deployment kitchens based on the 30 Reef ships operating as Wendy’s kitchens at the time.

Ghost Financial believes that its collaboration with Cruise Kitchens will allow more legacy QSRs to “take advantage of comprehensive financing options” to enter new markets and increase revenue outside the company, according to its press release.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the scale, scale and impact of what’s to come,” Mayer said in a statement.

Cruising Kitchens has already made deals with Whataburger, Gordon Ramsay, L.A. Dodgers, Steph Curry and Ayesha Curry, and is in talks with brand marketing agency and athlete Voltage MGMT. It recently expanded its operations by adding 240,000 square feet to its production space.

“We are now ready to take over the entire ghost kitchen space,” said Cameron Davis, CEO of Cruising Kitchens, in an emailed statement. “CK GHOST will be a one-stop shop providing everything from permits to in-house rentals. … We aim to provide opportunities we have never seen before in a space that is currently wide open.”

Ghost Financial will also give Cruising Kitchens customers access to its cashback rewards card, which is designed to boost operator margins by up to 10%.

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