Kitchen United, a provider of restaurant hub technology, streamlined logistics, and turn-key commercial kitchen space, has signed its second lease agreement in Chicago. The fifth and newest Kitchen United MIX location will be at 222 N. Wells Street, Chicago.
Kitchen United's move comes as many restaurant brands are looking to host and ghost kitchens -- and launching virtual brands. Smokey Bones, Franklin Junction, Fazoli's, Brinker International, and Chuck E. Cheese have launched virtual wing brands in recent months.
Kitchen United’s second Chicago location will be in the heart of the city in the neighborhood known as The Loop that is home to a dense population of digital workers and young families. At the site of the popular former food hall Wells St. Market, the location will house 10 kitchens arranged throughout the property in a similar format to food halls, and will have one central order and pickup area in the middle of the space. The location will eventually open indoor and outdoor seating.
“Chicago has been incredibly welcoming to the Kitchen United brand, and we’re excited to bolster our presence in the city following the successful establishment of our kitchen center in River North in 2018,” said Michael Montagano, Chief Executive Officer at Kitchen United. “Kitchen United MIX at Wacker & Wells will support a seamless to-go experience for consumers seeking ultimate convenience and optionality. Further, we look forward to supporting beloved restaurant brands looking to take advantage of the continued boom in off-premise business through our capital-light opportunity that will enable them to grow with minimal upfront costs and lower risk.”
Kitchen United MIX offers consumers the opportunity to batch orders from different restaurant concepts mitigating the risk of disputes over “what’s for dinner.” Orders can be easily mixed and matched to meet one person’s cravings for Chinese food, while another can get pizza all on the same ticket. Takeout orders are easily accommodated with Kitchen United’s kiosk ordering technology and website and orders can also be made for delivery via third-party marketplaces where applicable.
Brands such as Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, and Smokey Bones and its two virtual brands currently partner with Kitchen United at its 831 N. Sedgwick location. All operator brands employ their own staff to focus on the cooking inside shared kitchen space, while Kitchen United staff handles tasks such as trash removal and distributing orders to customers and delivery personnel.
Kitchen United provides restaurant brands the ability to expand into new markets without the expensive build-out of a new, standalone restaurant, and currently operates locations in Pasadena, California, Scottsdale, Arizona and Austin, Texas.