On the heels of a $10 million funding round led by GV, virtual restaurant provider Kitchen United is opening its second shared kitchen, this one in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Its restaurant partners, who use the kitchen space to launch or expand off-premises dining and delivery, will move in mid-December and open their concepts to consumers in January.
Kitchen United’s kitchen centers are facilities that can house 10 to 20 restaurants with commercial kitchens optimized specifically for the catering, delivery and takeout marketplace. The company creates turnkey solutions for restaurants and positions its kitchen facilities in areas where demand is high and the local restaurant infrastructure is strained by the influx of non-traditional business.
“We select locations for our kitchen centers very carefully, and this space passed our site selection process with flying colors,” said CEO Jim Collins of the location at 825 N. Sedgwick St. in Chicago. “River North has an extremely high demand for food delivery, catering and pickup services. Restaurants in the area are stressed by the new business and the new facility will cater to both the in-place community, as well as bringing new dining options into the area to meet rising consumer demand.”
Kitchen United’s core business serves local, regional and national chains, but the company reserves space in each facility to enable restaurant and foodservice entrepreneurs an opportunity to start or expand their business.
“Changes in consumer preference are dramatically shaping the food landscape across the country,” said Meredith Sandland, COO of Kitchen United. “Our facilities are designed to empower local and national restaurants to meet the demand for more off-premises dining options in their most relevant target markets.”
Kitchen United opened its first location this summer in Pasadena, California, and the company said it has aggressive growth plans for the year ahead. In 2019, the company is slated to open new facilities in Los Angeles; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix; Seattle; Denver; and New York City. Calling itself a data-driven organization, Kitchen United identifies the most promising locations for its kitchen centers by aggregating insights on demographics, income levels and cuisine-specific demand as well as drive time, traffic patterns and other data. The company also provides its restaurant partners opt-in consumer and operational data.