Grocery chain Ralphs and Kitchen United MIX teamed up to open the first kitchen center in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
The Los Angeles location is the first of the Kroger-Kitchen United collaboration. Additional locations in Texas are anticipated to open later in the month.
Restaurants are leveraging ghost kitchens, dark kitchens and virtual brands. TGI Fridays is among the brands that has seen soaring demand for off-premises dining and plans to open 500 ghost kitchens in the US and abroad. Nathan's Famous, Inc. is expanding its virtual concept in Canada through a partnership with Branded Virtual Kitchens Canada. And depending on how you look at ghost kitchens, Walmart could be your greatest dream or your worst nightmare.
"When our customers think of food, they think of Kroger," said Dan De La Rosa, Group Vice President of Fresh Merchandising for Kroger. "The Kitchen United collaboration provides the fresh, on-demand meals our customers crave. It is one more innovative example of how Kroger is fulfilling its commitment to anything, anywhere, anytime."
"We couldn't be prouder that Kroger and Kitchen United chose to open the collaboration's first location in Ralphs," said Kendra Doyel, Vice President - Merchandising, Ralphs. "Our customers come to us to find the freshest food and to answer the all-important 'what's for dinner?' question. This collaboration provides our customers one more simple meal solution that they can pair with Ralphs' fresh products."
The kitchen center will enable customers to place an order digitally using Kitchen United's proprietary MIX platform via web, mobile, or an in-person ordering kiosk. Customers can then pick up their meal onsite or have it delivered. Restaurant staff will prepare the orders and delivery service fees will be determined by third-party providers.
"We proudly operate successful ghost kitchens across the country and will apply that expertise to reimagine takeout and delivery within Kroger stores," said Michael Montagano, Chief Executive Officer of Kitchen United. "Our work together provides millions of Kroger customers access to their favorite restaurant cuisines in a convenient supermarket format, while providing Kitchen United and our restaurant partners a high-touch, interactive storefront. We are excited to bring this creative solution to the Westwood community."
Shoppers can choose to mix and match their meals from Fresh Brothers, Bushi by Jinya, Sajj Mediterranean, Doghaus and more. The off-premise restaurant kitchen is the first to open after Ralphs' parent company Kroger and Kitchen United announced its national partnership in August 2021. This innovative approach brings fresh, restaurant-quality meals directly to Ralphs shoppers.