Florentine Legacy | CloudKitchens

Florentine Legacy & CloudKitchens

See how Florentine Legacy is continuing their family traditions with CloudKitchens

Florentine Legacy

Nick Penzone — Third generation owner & chef

Florentine Restaurant is continuing their family's legacy with CloudKitchens


Founded in 1945 in Columbus, Ohio, Florentine Restaurant has been a well established local favorite, serving up classic Italian meals for decades. Known for their spaghetti and meatballs as well as traditional lasagna, the Penzone family has been cooking up their signature dishes for generations.

Nick Penzone, a third generation Penzone, grew up in the kitchen cooking with his father and grandfather, learning how to prepare each of their family’s home cooked recipes. Through creating their beloved signature sauces, house salad dressing, and fresh pasta dough, Nick Penzone connected more with each of his family members every day at their restaurant. 

Unfortunately in 2016, Florentine Restaurant had to close it’s doors, being unable to stay afloat with the cost of their longstanding brick and mortar location. 

Before Nick Penzone decided to make the switch to CloudKitchens, he was unsure how he would ever be able to reopen his family’s restaurant. On a mission to continue his family’s legacy, he knew he needed to adapt to a changing market, to bring back their restaurant.

He started selling jars of their family’s famous pasta sauces and dressings, then came across the idea of delivery-only. Once Nick found ghost kitchens, he was able to shift their longstanding business to delivery-only and continue the family legacy.

What made CloudKitchens the right fit for their restaurant brand?

Since partnering with CloudKitchens, Florentine Restaurant has been able to successfully continue on like it never left Columbus, serving up authentic Italian cuisine.

Nick Penzone has been able to continue his family’s legacy with the support of CloudKitchens by switching to delivery-only. Now Nick is operating across multiple top delivery apps, able to start selling pasta sauces by the jar, just like his father always wanted.

Just take it from Nick:

“CloudKitchens helps set up the delivery tablet for you. They get you up and running with whichever delivery apps you want to work with. We ring a bell and then the runner will come and take the food up to the driver, so we don’t have to wait in that space, which is really nice.”

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What is a ghost kitchen?

Ghost kitchens, also known as dark kitchens or virtual kitchens, are commercial kitchens built for food delivery. They’re located within the delivery radius of a high volume of online customers, rather than high foot traffic areas. With ghost kitchens, there’s no physical storefront or dining area, so you only need a few back-of-house staff members to fulfill online orders.

How does a ghost kitchen work?

In a ghost kitchen, your restaurant is focused on delivery rather than dine-in. When eaters order your food online, you’ll prepare it from your ghost kitchen, and hand it off to a fulfillment team to get the order over to the right delivery driver. This gives restaurateurs a low cost, high efficiency model to get the most out of delivery.

Are ghost kitchens profitable?

Yes. Ghost kitchens allow restaurateurs to increase profitability by maintaining the essential elements of a restaurant while cutting costs on labor, overhead, and wasted food while reaching a higher volume of customers ordering online. Plus, you can run multiple virtual brands out of a single ghost kitchen to increase revenue without the extra overhead.

Why are ghost kitchens so popular?

Ghost kitchens are rising in popularity because they’re a lower cost alternative to operating a traditional restaurant. They’re also focused on delivery, which has grown 300% faster than dine-in since 2014. That means restaurateurs are using ghost kitchens to future-proof their business and accelerate growth.

How does a ghost kitchen help your restaurant grow?

Ghost kitchens help restaurateurs grow their business by doing delivery right. The way we dine has changed, and ghost kitchens allow restaurant operators to capture food delivery demand without sacrificing their bottom line. They’re also a great way to expand to new markets without spending time and money on a traditional restaurant buildout. You can easily expand your restaurant brand to different cities across the country such as Los Angeles or New York.

How much do ghost kitchens cost?

The cost of ghost kitchens varies by market, space, and services. Compared to a traditional restaurant, they’re a much lower cost alternative on both upfront capital and ongoing operating costs. You can get started in a ghost kitchen with as little as $30K, instead of $1M+ for brick and mortar buildout.

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