Starving for Business, Downtown Marriott Savors Success with ‘Ghost Kitchen’

The Torta Hamburguesa at Epic Burger features refried beans, shredded romaine, fresh pico de gallo, spicy pepper jack cheese, mayonesa, sautéed jalapeño and roasted green chili on a brioche bun. (Photo by Epic Burger)

By Kevin Collison

Starved for hotel guests because of the pandemic, the Downtown Marriott is pivoting to feeding the appetites of nearby residents and workers by opening a “ghost kitchen” for take-out and delivery.

“It’s no secret, 2020 has been hard on the hospitality industry and convention hotels,” said Dustin Holcumbrink, director of sales and marketing.

“With most events cancelled, our food and beverage team had time on their hands. Like many restaurants, we’re pivoting to find ways to increase revenues by serving people who live and work in downtown Kansas City.”

The Downtown Marriott actually closed temporarily earlier this year because of the steep plunge in business resulting from the Covid pandemic.

The new dining concept is called Epic Burgers and the hotel chefs are using their ghost kitchen to prepare a variety of hamburgers, sandwiches and desserts available only for pick-up at the hotel’s Metropolitan KC restaurant or delivery through DoorDash.

“The culinary team behind Epic Burgers saw the pandemic as an opportunity to unlock a creative side and utilize their diverse background to create a whole new concept,” according to a press release.

The ‘ghost kitchen’ for Epic Burger is at the hotel’s MetropolitanKC restaurant. (Photo courtesy Downtown Marriott)

The menu offerings include appetizers such as Mozzarella bites, chicken tenders and wings; a variety of burgers including a Pit Boss Burger; sandwiches such as Avocado Chicken Club, and desserts including Ooey Gooey Chocolate Brownie Cake.

Orders can be placed online for curbside pickup at the hotel entrance at 200 W. 12th St. and guests can either go inside or call 816-802-7030 to have a valet bring it to your car, according to the release. Orders can also be delivered through DoorDash.

Holcumbrink said the majority of orders are being delivered by DoorDash. Hours of operation are from 6 a.m. to midnight all week.

“It’s been very successful and we’re getting fantastic feedback about the food,” he said. “We don’t have any end date in mind based on our success.”

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