Bianca’s Burgers was created by Rafael and Elizabeth Royal, siblings with a common adoration for cooking and compassion. The restaurant, which is named after Elizabeth’s daughter, has a larger-than-life menu featuring an amazing array of bountiful burgers, delectable sandwiches and enough fried sides to make your decision all the more difficult.
“I have always wanted to own my own restaurant. I’m a second generation American, my father is from Panama, and was told from an early age that I had two choices; be lawyer or own your own business,” said Rafael.
The Restaurant operates as a ghost kitchen (also known as a cloud kitchen), a rather new venture of the restaurant industry that has become more popular and has seen more business as restaurants change models due to the pandemic. The business model is quite simple: Instead of having a full traditional restaurant, you have a kitchen. With the rise of food delivery companies, the need to have sit-down space is not necessarily needed. Orders come in through a wall mounted tablet and as they are finished, they are placed for the delivery service to pick up.
Bianca’s Burgers works out of a shared kitchen space (3220 W. Grand Ave.) and opened in September. Being in such a central location of Humboldt Park, the restaurant can deliver to numerous neighborhoods, Logan Square being the top of the list. The building is divided into endless rows of doorways, some leading to into kitchens of various sizes and capabilities. Not only small startups, but larger chains and well-known restaurants have taken to the idea of a to-go only style of the restaurant industry. Elizabeth said businesses like Chick-fil-A, Little Caesars and Mary’s BBQ have spaces in the same building as her, allocating their delivery orders to these kitchens instead of burdening their brick and mortar locations, and in some cases eliminating the need for a traditional restaurant building.
“We settled on a cloud kitchen because of it’s accessibility,” Rafael, the brother, said. “We realized that this was going to be a huge risk, but one that we knew was justifiable. Because of the size and nature of it, it’s something that we can run together without a staff, for now. It’s also giving us the chance to build a brand that’s flexible enough to change and grow around the customers that support us.”
Sure, there are many advantages to Ghost Kitchens. However, the big disadvantage is having that personal connection between customers and employees.
“The biggest disadvantage is that my brother and I love people and in the kitchen we lose the opportunity to be among our guest & experience their enjoyment of our food,” Elizabeth said.
With certainty, the family centered kitchen is in no short supply beautiful personalities, invigorating conversations and an overall amiable aura that is seldom felt and seen since the onslaught of the pandemic. Luckily, there is a chance for you to get familiar with Rafael and Elizabeth as the dynamic duo are hoping to open up a traditional brick and mortar location sometime in the future.
After a long run of pop-up events for the month, and now that colder weather is setting in, the family is settling in their kitchen, however, they said they are interested in doing more pop-up style events, should the opportunity arise.
Bianca’s Burgers can be found on most delivery app services or can be contacted, as well as keep you up to date, via their Facebook page.
“Being able to have a space of our own is truly a dream come true. We get a chance to be creative together, brainstorm and use the best of our combined ideas which most brothers & sisters don’t really get a chance to do but we are blessed to be in this position,” Said Elizabeth, “Bianca’s Burgers really was born from a love of family and wanting to be together more.”
Featured photo: Zachary Keltner