🍔The Restaurant Apocalypse, Cloud Gaming’s Big Moment, and Write with Friends

DropKitchens are coming just you watch

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you had an awesome weekend with your family.

Christmas was a bit scary here in TN with the bombing in downtown Nashville. Thankfully, police were able to get people out of the blast zone (the source of the blast - an RV - had announced to evacuate the area for about 15 minutes before it blew up. Absolutely bone-chilling), and it’s thought that the only human casualty was the attacker, but that is unknown.

The bombing impacted the ATT building here and has created massive Internet and cell service outages. Our internet was out for about 3 days.

Now, I have T-Mobile on my phone, but my wife has ATT. Her phone has been out of service since noon on Friday.

That’s the craziest part about all of this. People who bundle their services under ATT haven’t had any service! Sadly, ATT’s PR hasn’t been handling it well. They should have set up a live stream of the repairs so people could see just how badly things were.

Can you imagine how strong of a statement it would be if they showed the damage and had a technician showing what happened and what they were doing in terms of repairs? People tend to be more understanding if they have a better idea of what’s going on.

They’ve made a few PR statements, each one more informational than the last, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ATT lost a lot of customers from this outage.

I’m very thankful for all the first responders, medics, and officers who risked their lives on Christmas Day to make sure everyone was safe!

Let’s dive on into today’s topics.

🍔The Restaurant Apocalypse

Drop Kitchens are coming soon - and I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a billion-dollar industry. Here’s my proposed definition

Drop Restaurant - A Dropshipping model / and or Operating System (Similar to Shopify) for virtual restaurants where entrepreneurs create virtual restaurants from existing kitchens and generate revenue without ever touching a stove.

Sounds pretty wild, right? 5 years ago it would have sounded absolutely nuts, but during COVID in a world where delivery apps are now verrrryyy common and in mainstream usage, it makes a lot of sense.

When I heard that Mr. Beast was coming out with his own virtual restaurant “Beast Burgers” I was very intrigued. Here’s a link to his website

Apparently, there were 300 “locations” all over the USA, and you could order via his proprietary app, or Doordash, Grubhub, etc.

Where’s the food coming from? good ole Ghost Kitchens.

Ghost Kitchen - A kitchen used to prepare food for a virtual restaurant. The food is real - the restaurant is not.

At least in Franklin TN, the food is coming out of the kitchen of a Buca Di Beppo - which is an Italian restaurant here.

I placed an order via his app on Android - I gotta tell you. It was buggy.

Turns out the app routes through Doordash - so it’s basically a pretty Mr. Beast-themed Facade for the Doordash app.

Interesting.

It was a long wait to get the food too. The Dasher said the restaurant was backed up - and she was able to get my food about 30 min later. I tipped her extra in cash for the inconvenience. Crazy! I can only assume there was a ton of demand.

I ordered the Mr. Beast burger and the loaded seasoned fries. Both were delicious - but I can’t say that I’d necessarily order them again. They were good, but they weren’t insanely delicious. Including the first tip, I spent $38 (food, delivery fee, etc) for two burgers, two fries, and two cans of Pepsi.

Here’s a picture of the burger with the sticker. Cool sticker. Not too hard to put together.

Eh.

However, here’s what is really interesting. Let’s back up a sec.

The past year or so, we’ve been hearing about virtual restaurants that don’t exist, like Chili’s It’s Just Wings. Available only via delivery, they live only in the world of Grubhub, Doordash, and others.

A few months ago, McDonald’s broke Social Media with the Travis Scott meal. It was a basic meal, but everyone went nuts over it. It proved that celebrities could monetize food and restaurant brands.

In November, Mr. Beast created a physical version of his restaurant (all the food was free) that was so popular, a line was backed up for literal miles.

Now, he’s created locations all over the states in ghost kitchens, and they sold out the first night they were open. I tried to order on December 22, and the restaurant was unavailable for several hours when it was supposed to be open!

I’d say it was a resounding success.

The company behind Mr. Beasts restaurant is called Virtual Dining Concepts. Here’s the downlow. Basically - it’s designed for existing restaurants to create new virtual restaurants solely for delivery.

Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) brands are a collection of the most highly sought-after food delivery categories in the current marketplace, some with celebrities attached. With menus created by our chef, the Culinary Director of VDC, they can be reproduced in a wide range of kitchens with minimal training . . . You Focus On Food. We Do All The Rest. Quickly start a virtual restaurant and make your existing kitchen more profitable with our A-Z solution and zero upfront cost. Ready to go bigger? Build multiple virtual concepts out of one kitchen, improve your margins and create a more profitable delivery business. (Source)

There’s other companies like this popping up, like The Local Culinary that give you access to their brands and menus to create a virtual “restaurant franchise.”

I think the space is going to get even BIGGER in the years to come.

This is what I think will happen. Someone is going to create the “Shopify” of virtual restaurants. They’ll go to the trouble of assembling the most essential of the following . . .

  • Brands you can use, Menus, Preparation instructions, Product suppliers you can use to deliver products to kitchens. A Restaurant website builder that hits hard on SEO, Social Proof, messaging, and beautiful pictures of food.

  • Cloud Kitchens with staff / Kitchens of existing small restaurants you can partner with

  • A Dashboard to view orders, profit, and communicate with kitchens/restaurants.

  • Integration of major Delivery partners like Ubereats, Grubhub, etc.

  • Collab opportunities with Celebrities. [Blank] will partner with you for 20% of the profit from each burger, for example.

  • Streamlined Customer service

From here, people will create and run virtual restaurants without ever stepping into a kitchen or firing a bad cook. They’ll focus on managing customer service, restaurant discoverability, and how to tweak recipes to get ahead.

There will be restaurant millionaires who have no idea how to cook, but they know how to brand, hype, and get partnerships.

A dropshipping trend for restaurants will emerge.

Are you ready?

🎮Cloud Gaming’s Big Moment

Do you remember OnLive? The cloud gaming service that emerged in 2009? Everyone raved about it as “the future of gaming” but - it never really caught on.

It even had recording and sharing features.

People just weren’t ready to give up on hardware like the Xbox or Playstation.

2010 was the year that Netflix introduced a just streaming plan. Yeah. A LOT has changed since then.

Here’s an ancient trailer. The language sounds pretty similar to the Stadia or Xbox Gamepass, doesn’t it?

The saddest part was that it worked pretty well. When I was in College, I signed up to play demos several times because it was just so cool. It worked pretty well too!

Well, times are a’changing.

Games are getting increasingly resource and storage heavy. Take, for example, the complete launch failure of Cyberpunk 2077 due to glitches and performance issues on the ole PS4 and Xbox One.

OR - the fact that every COD update is like 50 Gigs or whatever.

Everyone is so used to streaming movies and TV now that streaming games have come back in fashion.

So - the new “Onlives” have arrived and, dang it, I think game streaming is finally going to make it this time.

Did you hear about that Stadia promotion where if you bought Cyberpunk 2077 you got a Stadia Premiere kit? they sold so many they had to stop the promotion early.

Cloud gaming makes nicer games like Cyberpunk accessible to anyone, regardless of whether they have an Ipad, crappy Chromebook, or a TV.

Here’s the 4 main players

Google Stadia - All you need is the Controller and a Chromecast Ultra. Stadia Pro is only $10 a month and comes with monthly free games. You CAN own games on this platform. Huge advantage imho.

Amazon Luna - Amazon’s approach to game streaming. This one is pretty cool too, and comes with a nice library of games, including Metro Exodus.

Nvidia Geforce Now - This one is unique but awesome. Play the games you already own via the cloud. This one you can play on TV, Ipad, etc.

Microsoft Xbox Game Pass - I put this as fourth because it can’t run on Ipads. Yet.

Playstation Now - Eh. You can play on PC but that’s about it.

📝Write with Friends

No, no, this isn’t Words with Friends.

This is Storylocks, the platform where you write with friends.

Basically, you create story prompts or jump on others - write chapters - and everyone votes on which chapter 1 is best. The highest voted chapter becomes THE chapter.

Then - when the book is finished, it’s sent out into the world.

I imagine that in the future there’s some kind of plan in the works for publishing on Amazon, a 10% fee collection from the platform, and royalties for the book contributors.

THAT would be really cool.

Decentralized Monetized Creative Works.

It’s really intriguing - I’ve never seen anything like it for books.

Check it out at the link!!!

Storylocks

🐙The Land of Random

Random links for YOUR random adventures

Start Battling Now

Venge.io is a neat little desktop or mobile FPS. It’s fast, and the graphics are stylized so it’s pretty fun. Play with your friends instantly!

Venge.io

Cyberpunk is Sorry

This fun little site lets you create your very own Cyberpunk style apology. Write whatever you like and hit save. THEN try to convince your friends that it’s actually real.

Sorrypunk

The Dave Directory

This is downright odd, but it’s supposed to be a Directory where people named David submit themselves? WEIRD. No - I haven’t submitted myself yet.

Why does this exist

The Library of Scroll

A simply fascinating website! They crawl the internet for interesting LONG form articles. Like, lots of scrolling and reading on mobile. Very cool. Interesting reads.

Start Reading and Scrolling

Pop - 3D Voice Chat

This interesting platform creates a 3D digital space for your calls. It’s quite intriguing and feels very different from the ole’ zoom.

POP

The Great Forest Xylophone

It’s so beautiful. . .

Lego Beehive

Mad props to whoever made this

Yes. It's real

🎶TikToks You Can’t Miss

I would refuse to drive another inch.

This Christmas Present wins hands down for the “You get one present category.”

That’s not terrifying at all.

Oh my goodness, so cute!

no, please do not swim by the molten lava, thanks.

Why keep Home Alone as a movie when you can make it real life?

Wait. Where did Krampus go. Oh dear.

Well, that’s all for this issue! Until next time. 😊

Share The Land of Random