CINCINNATI — Kroger is opening delivery-only kitchens in partnership with Indianapolis-based ClusterTruck to prepare on-demand meals for delivery to customers, who won’t be charged delivery or service fees.
The partners said the initial program — Kroger Delivery Kitchen Powered by ClusterTruck — is launching in Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Carmel, Ind. A similar service will open soon in Denver under Kroger’s King Soopers banner.
The so-called dark kitchens typically prepare and deliver a meal within 30 minutes of receiving a customer’s order, the partners say.
“ClusterTruck’s ultra-fresh and quick, made-from-scratch meals set them apart in the food-delivery landscape,” explains Kroger group vice president of health Suzy Monford. “Kroger Delivery Kitchen customers can order pizza or pad Thai on the same order and get it delivered hot and fresh, within minutes of the meal’s being prepared. We are excited to work together to bring this partnership to life to provide our customers with real food delivered to their doorstep.”
Dark kitchens give Kroger an opportunity to compete for a share of the growing meal delivery market without disrupting its full-service stores. ClusterTruck, which opened its first dark kitchen in 2016, says it deploys a proprietary software system that optimizes kitchen and delivery operations and ensures that nearly every order is in the hands of the customer within seven minutes of the meal’s preparation.
“ClusterTruck is cracking the code for the future of profitable meal delivery,” says Kroger chief information officer Yael Cosset. “Kroger is leveraging ClusterTruck’s advanced technology to ensure our customers don’t have to sacrifice quality and value for convenience when it comes to meal delivery.”