ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — White Castle will temporarily close its virtual kitchen in Orlando — but just until its full-service restaurant opens in the O-Town West development in the spring, Vice President Jamie T. Richardson said in a statement Thursday.

What You Need To Know

  • White Castle temporarily shuts down virtual kitchen in Orlando

  • It will reopen once full-service restaurant opens this spring

  • A company vice resident calls the number of orders "overwhelming"

  • The virtual kitchen is in a small commercial facility

“The overwhelming number of orders for White Castle has been humbling and reinforces we made the right choice to choose Central Florida as the site for our next permanent-destination Castle,” Richardson said. “Because of the relatively small size of the virtual kitchen and the incredibly high number of orders, running the virtual kitchen isn’t currently sustainable. We want to apologize for all our craving fans who have to wait just a bit longer as we work towards our opening date later this spring.”

On Tuesday, White Castle announced the launch of a virtual kitchen and delivery system and then “paused” online ordering in the early afternoon because of heavy demand. The virtual kitchen orders remained closed Wednesday, but Richardson had indicated that pickup orders would resume at 10 a.m. Thursday.

In announcing the suspension of delivery orders Tuesday, Richardson said, “We knew the first day for our White Castle virtual kitchen would be big — and it has been even bigger than expected. We did pause online ordering to make certain we’re able to take great care of all of our customer orders.  We anticipate being ‘live’ again soon. Thanks to all for their patience. We’re looking forward to satisfying White Castle cravings here in the days, months and years to come.”

The nearly 100-year-old company has not announced a specific date to open the world’s largest, free-standing White Castle in the new O-Town West development off Interstate 4 north of Walt Disney World. The 4,567-square foot restaurant will include indoor and outdoor seating and two drive-through lanes, and it's expected to create 120 new jobs.

White Castle had set up its virtual kitchen space in an Orlando commercial facility and hired 25 team members for its delivery operations. 

When it does relaunch, the delivery menu is expected to be limited, including its Original Slider and other favorites like chicken rings, crinkle-cut French fries and mozzarella cheese sticks.