The market for virtual kitchens is forecast to reach nearly $14 billion, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 percent, according to new research from Market Research Future. Virtual kitchens represent adventurous new territory for the restaurant business, replete with both opportunities and risks. On the opportunities end, virtual brands could potentially give a great boost to restaurant businesses that lack a strong online presence. As this recent report from Eater describes, Kellogg’s, a 24-hour diner that has been operating in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for decades, recently partnered with Profit Cookers, a company that creates and licenses brands to restaurants. Kellogg’s runs 18 of Profit Cookers’ virtual brands out of its diner. In practice, a consumer looking for an egg and cheese bagel online will see the option pop up from one of those 18 brands – all of which have a generic sound to them, almost like they were designed to maximize search engine optimization. The virtual brands tap into the expansive menu offered by the diner, while the diner benefits from the virtual brands’ expanded hours and delivery radiuses. The owner of the diner says the partnership has brought in $40,000 in additional sales. Of course, this new era in off-premise dining has plenty of risks and unknowns to work out as well. Restaurants that farm out their food under a range of brands are expanding their reach but also diluting the brand experience. It’s difficult for the consumer to know where their food is coming from – and unclear who is responsible in the event of a food safety or quality problem.