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Restaurateur Whips Up Successful Virtual Kitchen Business Concept In College Park

Restaurateur Whips Up Successful Virtual Kitchen Business Concept In College Park

A 3rd generation restauranteur using family recipes runs a ghost kitchen for his 4 eateries serving College Park residents and collegiates.

In 2010, Nomie Hamid launched his first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Krazi Kebob, in College Park not far from the University of Maryland. While in this cozy locale, Hamid created the Krazi Burrito concept and also opened The Kabob Joint but as a delivery-only option.

Krazi Kebob, a former fast-food restaurant in College Park, captured the burrito assembly-line technique of Chipotle or Pancheros but infused Pakistani and Indian flavors into the food. Fast forward to 2021 in the midst of a global pandemic and Hamid was encouraged to carve out the concept of a virtual kitchen that had been brewing for some time.

After just 10 years with Krazi Kebob, third-generation restaurateur Hamid was forced to permanently close his doors due to the construction of a new apartment building in its place. He had used recipes handed down from his grandfather, Abdul Hamid, who moved to Pakistan and then immigrated to the U.S. in 1968.

“With one door closing, I took the opportunity to bring to life my longtime vision of a digital food hall and set up shop in the commercial space that is now Virtual X Kitchen. I previously had success with two restaurants in one space -Krazi Burrito and Krazi Kebob – but I also knew there was the potential for larger scale achievements,” Hamid told Patch. “The reality of operating a locally-owned restaurant is quite challenging, especially in urban areas with premium rent costs and competitive, large corporate chains. My vision of a virtual kitchen structure provided a perfect solution with more efficient use of space and resources, creating a more accessible way for other culinary professionals to open and operate a restaurant.”

Also operating out of the Virtual X Kitchen in addition to Hamid’s 4 eateries are Bread N Greens and Coffee Editor. Being located in College Park, a college town, presents its own special set of circumstances.

“The demographics of College Park are somewhat unique, as the local community is dominated by the constantly fluctuating college student population. As a result, we see very noticeable trends that align directly with the schedule of the university. Winter break is a particularly challenging time for businesses near campus, with many students leaving College Park to move or travel for the holidays. On top of the already volatile nature of restaurant sales, many small businesses here see a significant drop in sales until the students return after the holidays,” Hamid explained.

Virtual X Kitchen serves as a ghost kitchen. Also known as a virtual or cloud kitchen, these types of facilities are specifically designed for multiple chefs or businesses to prepare food to be picked up and delivered to customers instead of for in-person dining. Virtual X Kitchen now has four “Krazi” brands in all: Krazi Kebob, Krazi Burrito, Krazi Chick and The Kabob Joint, as well as a catering company.

Because of the extensive overhead costs that come with a physical dine-in restaurant, Hamid worked hard on building a virtual restaurant brand that would serve the local community and college student. Hamid took advantage of an Amazon business grant to help further strengthen his brand by designing Virtual K Kitchen paper bags used for all orders. That way, when customers ordered food through a third-party platform, the order still carried the Virtual X Kitchen logo.

Located at 5110 Roanoke Pl. #102 in College Park, Virtual X Kitchen offers gift cards as well as catering for any of the restaurant menu items including traditional Indian food, Italian, American and more. Orders can be placed directly on the company’s website.

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