RSG193: Building Mobile Kitchens With Ziki

Over the past two years, food delivery has exploded due to the pandemic and more people staying at home. With the explosion of food delivery has come the proliferation of more services, ghost kitchens, and more. In this episode, I talk with founder and CEO Nick Nanakos of ZIKI, a vertically integrated fast-casual restaurant serving Greek and Mexican fusion. We’ll talk about his food delivery model, how vertical integration works, and how restaurants can leverage third-party delivery apps.

Listen to this episode on your phone here.

Intro to Nick Nanakos

  • Founder and CEO of Ziki
  • Comes from generational food entrepreneurs
  • Uses dark modular kitchens and leverages technology to grow ZIKI

What is ZIKI?

  • Vertically integrated fast-casual concept
  • Operates modular ghost kitchens
  • Uses software to aggregate all major ordering platforms
  • Ship kitchens based on this information – controls the whole process, top to bottom

Why Modular Ghost Kitchens?

  • Came from a big family of restaurant entrepreneurs
  • Turned family’s restaurants into ghost kitchens during the pandemic
  • Unit economics – these kitchens could launch faster and cheaper
  • The only thing that was missing? Technology

Third-Party Delivery Apps: How Can They be Leveraged By Businesses?

  • High % take from these companies
  • At the same time, they are helpful for restaurants and businesses
  • Negotiating better rates is key
  • Need to own your own customer

Future for ZIKI

  • Started by building company around technology – has converted well
  • Introduce more kitchens
  • Expansion and investment for growth in 2022


  • Big thanks to Nick for coming on the podcast – I’m hungry after chatting with Nick!
  • If you’re planning on attending Curbivore this year, you can try ZIKI and meet Nick in LA

Show Notes