By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 19, 2021 at 9:02 AM

Dark kitchens (also called ghost kitchens) have sprung up in droves over the past year or two. But one Chicago-based restaurant was ahead of the game, with their first dark kitchen launching in California in 2017.

This week on the FoodCrush podcast, we’re talking with Geoff Alexander, president and CEO of Wow Bao about the swift expansion of the Wow Bao brand, which currently has over 400 dark kitchen operations across the U.S. with 200 more on the way. 

Alexander chats with us about the history of the company, which specializes in creatively filled bao (baozi), dumplings and bowls. Along the way, he shares key factors in the concept’s success, along with insights and wisdom for owner operators looking to grow their restaurants.

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Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.