While hospitality has been a hard-hit industry during the pandemic, WOWorks, parent company of restaurants like The Simple Greek and Frutta Bowls, managed to pivot just prior. In March 2020, WOWorks entered an agreement with Ghost Kitchen to help franchise Ghost Kitchen Brands’ Saladworks, as well as other healthy brands, and create a wider distribution of accessible healthy foods to lower income areas and urban markets.
Since then, WOWorks has gone from strength to strength, opening 60 restaurants in 2021, representing a mix of Saladworks, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, and The Simple Greek. In 2021, WOWorks also partnered with Combo Kitchen to help fuel its expansion of better-for-you restaurants. They linked operators of ghost kitchens with smaller restaurant concepts, making the resources of bigger kitchens available to smaller brands at a reduced cost while maintaining commercial kitchen efficiency.
This combination of initiatives saw WOWorks spread its restaurant brands across the U.S. and Canada at a rate of 5-7 locations monthly in areas such as Salt Lake, Baltimore, Miami, and New York. The Ghost Kitchen Brands partnership also allowed for 60 nontraditional locations in the U.S. and 30 in Canada within stores like Walmart. Their timing, initiative, and strategic partnerships have allowed WOWorks to aggressively expand despite the challenges of the pandemic, making healthier options more accessible to consumers and growing their profits at the same time.