Kitchen United Nabs $10M Investment to Fund Expansion
Kitchen United, a virtual restaurant concept, today announced the closing of a $10 million Series A funding round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures).
Co-founders Harry Tsao and John Miller (Cali Group) also invested, along with several others.
Launched in 2017, Kitchen United offers national, regional and local restaurant chains a value-driven, low-risk opportunity to expand into new markets, grow revenue through off-premise dining, and expand their delivery market. Kitchen United’s commercial kitchens also provide food entrepreneurs the flexibility and business intelligence needed to enter this rapidly growing market. According to UBS, the food delivery market is expected to grow from $35 billion today to $365 billion worldwide by 2030, an annual average of more than 20 percent.
Kitchen United will use the funding to expand; the company has plans to open new facilities in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Columbus, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver and New York City by the end of 2019. These funds will also build the company’s real estate, marketing, engineering and operations functions in connection with the existing leadership team.
Driven By Data
Kitchen United leverages aggregate data to identify the best locations for its “Kitchen Centers,” which are facilities that can house 10-20 restaurants in converted warehouses, as well as big box and light industrial locations. Data on local demographics are overlaid with cuisine-specific demand mapping to determine the best locations for these centers, as well as the best partner fit from its growing list of participating restaurants. Once in the facility, Kitchen United provides its restaurants access to opt-in consumer and operational data to tailor their businesses, meet consumer demand, and realize operational efficiency. Examples of these functions include flagging unpopular menu choices, allowing restaurants to reduce menu size, and tailoring labor size based on demand.
“Kitchen United’s data-driven approach to flexible kitchen spaces unlocks critical value for national, regional, and local restaurant chains looking to expand into new markets,” said Adam Ghobarah, general partner at GV who joined Kitchen United's board of directors as part of the investment. “The founding team’s experience in scaling – in addition to diverse exposure to national chains, regional brands, regional franchises, and small upstart eateries – puts Kitchen United in a strong position to accelerate food innovation. Delivery networks have created new possibilities for food entrepreneurs, and we see significant investment opportunities in this ecosystem.”