Ghost kitchen: New take-out concept creates shared space for restaurants battling pandemic
A little more than a year ago, Dory Masri ran four restaurants in Beirut. That changed in August last year, when a massive explosion tore through that city’s port, wreaking destruction in its wake.
“Within a matter of 30 seconds, they were all on the ground,” he said. “So we decided to pack up and go to Montreal.”
But rather than set up a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Montreal, Masri decided to put his kitchen in a new project called Q-ZN, a take-out concept that is gaining steam across North America.
“We offer our tenants a turnkey operation that includes a hood, a sink, shelves and tables,” said Jason Nishmas, Q-ZN’s co-founder. “These are very expensive things to get in a restaurant that are not already there.”
App-based services like Door Dash, Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats pick up orders at the site, which has room for 16 kitchens like Masri’s — which is called Mezzmiz.
Q-ZN was up and running by this past June in an industrial part of St-Laurent, and its founders say it can potentially serve a half million residents. It doesn’t have table seating, relying solely on delivery.
“This was very quick,” Masri said. “We just came in, set up our equipment, and in a matter of months we were ready to start cooking.”