Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, every restaurant owner is looking for new avenues to make more money using their existing restaurant kitchens and labor. Many are turning to ghost kitchens as an opportunity to try out new cuisines or concepts in a carryout- and/or delivery-only format.

The business model is pretty straightforward: These new concepts are typically delivery-only, although curbside carryout is also becoming a popular option during the pandemic. Ghost kitchens operate out of an existing commercial kitchen or restaurant – there is no sign on the door and no dine-in service, which keeps labor costs low and the restaurant staff safe. All food must be ordered online and is delivered using either in-house delivery drivers or a third-party app, or picked up by the customer curbside.

But the real fun is that most ghost kitchen concepts offer food much different and more casual than what you might find on the restaurant's regular menu – think an Italian restaurant making burgers or a Thai restaurant frying up chicken sandwiches.

Interested? Try one (or all) of these locally owned ghost kitchens in Kansas City.