Ghost kitchen brand Kitchen United and international multi-platform Asian food business Camile Food Group teamed up to launch Camile Thai in the United States with Kitchen United MIX. The brand debuts in Chicago as a delivery- and takeout-only concept, licensing exclusively at Kitchen United MIX locations.
The first Camile Thai U.S. location is in Kitchen United’s newly opened Chicago Loop Kitchen Center at 205 W. Wacker Drive, and will serve made to order, plant forward dishes, with a sustainability-focused ethos. The Camile Thai and Kitchen United expansion will continue throughout 2021, with new locations opening in Chicago River North, Pasadena and Austin.
Kitchen United joins the ranks of companies adding virtual, delivery-only brands. Dickey's Barbecue added Big Deal Burger to its growing virtual brand portfolio. Muscle Maker Grill, Fazoli's, Brinker International, Nathan's Famous and Chuck E. Cheese and Dog Haus have launched virtual wing brands in recent months, and comes as Americans are eating more comfort food. One of the most advantageous virtual brands is Concept Entertainment Group's online food hall concept, which received HT’s Industry Hero Award.
Camile Thai has expanded to 40 locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and has quickly gained popularity as a tech-savvy leader in the food delivery space. The company was an early adopter of a hot food at home delivery model and currently serves over 10,000 healthy meals everyday to consumers across its network of franchised and company-owned locations.
“Kitchen United is constantly evaluating new and innovative ways to support our restaurant partners, and working with Camile Thai to present licensing opportunities to operators within our kitchen centers looking to establish a delivery-only business, or build a new segment of their existing portfolio is a perfect illustration of that,” said Atul Sood, Chief Business Officer of Kitchen United. “While a lot of new trends and short-lived concepts have emerged in the last year amid the rise in popularity of ghost kitchens, Camile Thai offers long-term opportunity and value for operators looking to grow via a licensed model. Based on our partnership with dozens of operators and Camile Thai’s proven experience, we are well-positioned to grow together here in the U.S.”
Camile Thai CEO, Brody Sweeney said: “We are excited to bring our concept to the U.S. and work closely with Kitchen United given its definitive leadership position in the ghost kitchen industry, along with an impressive list of existing and prospective operator partners. The rise of the on-demand economy has driven a monumental shift in traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant service. Last year saw the most significant adoption of technology in our industry’s history with volume digital food ordering and delivery at its core, and Camile Thai has been a first-mover in Europe. Additionally, we offer operator partners a flexible franchise model to position them for sustained success.”
Kitchen United has plans to open more ghost kitchen locations this year, expanding to and in existing markets including Los Angeles, Austin and New York City.