The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, and ghost kitchen industry leader Kitchen United announced a partnership to offer customers freshly prepared, on-demand restaurant food.
"Our customers' appetite for fresh, on-demand meals continues to accelerate, and we remain focused on offering new and innovative products that provide anything, anytime, anywhere," says Dan De La Rosa, Kroger's group vice president, of fresh merchandising "Our partnership with Kitchen United taps into restaurants' growing use of off-premise kitchen space to increase customers' access to their favorite foods."
The off-premise restaurant kitchen powered by Kitchen United at participating Kroger locations will feature up to six local, regional or national restaurant brands. When placing an order using the Kitchen United website or app or on-site via ordering kiosks, customers can select items from each on-site restaurant to create a customized order on a single receipt. Restaurant staff will prepare the orders and delivery service fees will be determined by third-party providers.
"As we continue to define Kroger as a food destination, this collaboration creates another seamless way for our customers to order lunch or dinner for pick up while they shop for groceries or for delivery to their location of choice," says Craig Gauden, Kroger's director of partnership development.
The first kitchen center is expected to open this fall at a Ralphs store in Los Angeles, with additional locations expected later this year.
"Kitchen United recognizes the significant value of Kroger as a strategic partner. Our work together provides participating restaurants access to millions of Kroger customers and the ability to better address off-premise demand in a convenient supermarket format – a frequent destination for most consumers," says Michael Montagano, CEO of Kitchen United. "We've worked collaboratively with the Kroger team to curate a mix of popular restaurant brands, and we see a great opportunity to introduce our partnership in cities across the country."
Kitchen United, known for its concept that houses multiple restaurant brands under one roof for delivery and pickup orders, has diversified its offerings through the expansion of its proprietary MIX platform.
"We are proud to have launched a number of successful ghost kitchen centers across the country, and now we are applying our experience and taking steps to expand in non-traditional ghost kitchen formats such as retail shopping centers and food halls like our newest kitchen center location in Chicago alongside our efforts with Kroger," says Atul Sood, Chief Business Officer of Kitchen United. "Our team has built a powerful tech stack and developed an infrastructure that optimizes any kitchen setting for streamlined and profitable off-premise business. Kroger is the perfect partner as we grow our reach and variety of business verticals in addition to our well-known ghost kitchen facility model."