Kroger partners with Kitchen United for restaurant meals

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Ghost kitchens offer another option for prepared food

CINCINNATI – The Kroger Co. plans to offer shoppers at select locations access to freshly prepared food from as many as six local or national restaurant brands through a partnership with ghost kitchen start-up Kitchen United.

Kroger Kitchen United

Kroger and Kitchen United Partner to Provide Customers On-Demand Meal Pick Up and Delivery from Popular Restaurants

Shoppers will order the meals using the Kitchen United website or app or at a kiosk at a Kroger store, selecting restaurant items to create a customized order on a single receipt. Restaurant staff will prepare the food, and delivery service fees will be determined by third-party providers, Kroger and Kitchen United announced August 4 in a joint press release.

“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,” said 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.

Founded in 2017, Kitchen United provides what it calls restaurant hub technology as well as kitchen space that helps foodservice operators meet off-premise business opportunities.

Kitchen United helped pioneer the concept of housing multiple restaurant brands under one roof for delivery and pickup orders.

“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,” said 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.”

Grocery store sales of prepared foods soared in the early days of the pandemic, when most restaurants were shuttered, according to a recent report from the Food Industry Association (FMI).

And grocery retailers are likely to hold an edge in food spending market share over the foodservice sector as the nation heads into the post-pandemic period, FMI said in its annual U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends study.

“The extent to which this elevated food retail spending continues depends much on the actions of those in the business of producing and selling food to retain customer loyalty beyond the pandemic,” according to FMI.

Kroger has made other moves to bolster its foodservice offerings. It struck a deal last year with ClusterTruck to open on-premise kitchens inside Kroger locations. And in 2018 the supermarket chain acquired meal-kit provider Home Chef.



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