Virtual restaurants, or kitchens that are geared entirely towards takeaways, are cropping up across SA on the back of the burgeoning online food delivery industry. There are now about 20 virtual restaurants on the Uber Eats app in SA, and that number is increasing monthly, says Nic Robertson, the company’s GM for the Middle East & Africa. One of those is Lele’s, which specialises in African cuisine and is also available on delivery platforms Mr D Food, Zulzi and OrderIn. Eliminating the sit-down aspect of restaurants is already a well-established trend in the US and other markets. Last year, San Francisco-based food delivery company DoorDash opened a service in the US where it rents out actual kitchens to virtual restaurant owners. "It’s a pretty big trend we’re seeing around the world," Robertson tells the Financial Mail. "Traditionally, to drive foot traffic [as a restaurant] you either had to be in a mall or on a high street, but that’s really expensive in terms of rentals." Rest...

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