The Slick Restaurant Group have opened Cape Town’s newest Dark Kitchen, essentially a Food Delivery Service from their city-based central kitchen for their popular Waterfront restaurants: Balducci, Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers & Ribs and Wings & Things. Their food offerings also include two exciting new brands: Pizzaway (handcrafted artisan pizzas which originated in Naples) and Whattaburger (offering value-for-money 130g burgers).
Also known as ‘virtual kitchens’, ‘ghost kitchens’, or ‘cloud kitchens’, Dark Kitchens are essentially restaurants without a front of house; independent operations creating food for a variety of brands and cuisines with all food prepared in one central kitchen, with obvious cost benefits. Food is ordered online, for delivery to the customer. No alcohol can be offered as part of a Food Delivery package, as most Dark Kitchens have no liquor licence.
Currently the Slick Restaurant Group’s deliveries are being done by Uber Eats and Mr D but they will also be signing up with other delivery companies. Deliveries are currently available in the City Bowl, City Centre, certain parts of Walmer Estate and Zonnebloem and Atlantic Suburbs Areas – with more areas coming soon. To break into the market, the commissions to delivery companies are being absorbed by the Slick Restaurant Group to keep their food prices competitive. Online ordering will soon be available on the Slick Restaurant Group website. Slick Restaurant staff will also be doing deliveries direct which will open up new delivery areas, and Food Collection will follow in the near future. The focus is on quality, variety and competitive pricing using aesthetically pleasing sustainable packaging with food safety and hygiene a top priority.
Ian Halfon, CEO of the Slick Restaurant group, was introduced to the concept of Dark Kitchens in articles on international restaurants and decided to follow this trend long before the emergence of the coronavirus and the financially devastating effects of Lockdown. Unfortunately, construction on their Dark Kitchen in the former Relish restaurant building in New Church Street had to come to a halt when Lockdown began.
The Slick Group have introduced GOLD standard food safety and hygiene measures for both food preparation and delivery. Their kitchen is fogged regularly with Covid-19 compliant sanitiser, only strictly monitored Slick staff are allowed access to the kitchen with temperatures taken on arrival, stringent hand sanitation protocol is imperative, all ingredients entering the kitchen are sanitised, hygiene and routine sterilising of surfaces is mandatory, all delivery transport carrier bags and pizza boxes are sanitised and sealed and staff and drivers wear shields or masks at all times.
The Slick Restaurant Group’s current delivery brands are:
Balducci: the flagship brand, with an impressive track record of excellence over more than two decades, are offering all their favourites including: their famous pizzas (banting, gluten-free and vegan options also on offer), pasta and gnocchi dishes, winglets, Asian noodles, poke bowls and sushi, a selection of vegan dishes, salads, gourmet shakes and desserts. New dishes are being continually added to the menu.
Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers & Ribs: a recipient of several awards including Eat Out’s Best Burger Award and the Guinness World Records award for the biggest selection of milkshakes in the world, bring you a selection of eleven award-winning burgers including beef, chicken, vegetarian and vegan, their famous fries as well as beef and pork ribs and a selection of decadently divine hand-spun gourmet shakes and desserts.
Wings & Things: offering southern fried and BBQ flame-grilled chicken wings, winglets and drumsticks as well as riblets, burgers, nachos, fries, gourmet shakes and desserts.
Pizzaway: a selection of ten competitively priced wood-fired Neapolitan-style artisan pizzas handcrafted using BIGA (a type of pre-fermentation used in Italian baking). Biga is made fresh every day and allowed to ferment for 12 to 16 hours to fully develop its unique flavour. This process produces the ultimate crispy pizza crust. Also offering gourmet shakes and desserts.
Whattaburger: a selection of eleven value-for-money 130g burgers (including beef, chicken, vegetarian and vegan) from the creators of the famous Gibson’s Burger. All burgers are chargrilled to perfection with Gibson’s secret basting and seasoning and served on a home baked bun with their secret no 6 sauce and house pickled deli cucumber. Fries can be ordered as a side sprinkled with Gibson’s popular seasoning.