Dec. 15, 2020 | Ian Cook
At OnTrend Concepts, we recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atul Sood, the Chief Business Officer of Kitchen United. Those who have been following the ghost kitchen industry have most likely heard of Kitchen United. In fact, even before the ghost kitchen explosion we have seen this year, Kitchen United had already emerged as a leader in this industry.
In hearing from Atul, it became clear that a major factor in Kitchen United’s own success is their attentive commitment to the success of their partners.
Kitchen United has partnered with a variety of restaurants spanning from national brands like Chick-Fil-A and FAT Brands to more local brands like Austin’s Bao’d Up and Los Angeles’ Canter’s Deli. “We have found that restaurants that are relatively well-established in their markets and have a core following tend to perform best in our kitchen centers. Our model is particularly beneficial to any restaurants that want to enter a new market area, expand new concepts or offload some of the congestion of delivery and pick-up in their brick and mortar location,” Atul remarked.
Beyond providing kitchens, Kitchen United also plays a significant role in ensuring their restaurant partners can thrive in each market: “Our mission is to help our restaurant partners succeed and a part of that is providing them data on local cuisine demand, demographics and areas of opportunity.” When it comes to menu offerings, that data can tell restaurant partners both what people are ordering the most of, and what kinds of foods people search for.
Restaurant partners are given easy access to these resources. Atul guarantees this: “We have open communication with our partners and share feedback on what each market might be looking for to help our restaurant operators develop menus based on customer demand.”
As soon as they enter a new market, partners already have a foot in the door. Kitchen United works to see which types of cuisine are in greatest demand in a certain area. Atul explains, “If we know that there is saturation in the market area with chicken wing concepts, but there’s a lack of Mexican cuisine and pent-up demand, for example, it makes most sense for us to partner with a brand that offers Mexican cuisine. This helps us set operators up for success from the start.” An already-present demand makes it much easier for restaurants to establish a strong presence in a new market.
Since their beginnings back in 2017, Kitchen United has established a system which allows each of their restaurant partners to benefit in any given order. Through their proprietary tech stack, guests can order from multiple restaurants in one order: “This is unique because if you’re with friends or family and someone is craving Thai food while another person wants a burger, our platform allows different cuisines to be delivered or picked up in a single order – all on the same check, and ready at the same time”.
Most orders are delivered through any of the major delivery services: “We want our operator partners to be able to reach their customers wherever they are.” So, although this means that Kitchen United does not currently operate their deliveries in-house, Atul says, “We are always considering new ways to streamline operations and benefit our operator partners.”
Kitchen United does, however, provide extensive help with in-house operations. “Kitchen United’s team handles all of the…tasks such as cleaning, trash removal, receiving, order hand-off, etc., which is incredibly cost effective for our partners,” Atul says. Handling these necessary operational tasks leaves restaurant partners with all the time they need to focus on preparing meals to serve their customers.
In the end, Kitchen United provides their partners with a workspace that their partners can look forward to working in each day: “We have found that there is a communal atmosphere to our Kitchen Centers, and this lends to overall employee satisfaction. While each concept has its own kitchen, there are opportunities for casual conversation, idea sharing – all of the wonderful things that are part of working in a restaurant space”.
It’s always a pleasure to hear from people who help to run efficient, yet personal and pleasant companies. For Kitchen United, an integral factor for their success is seeing the success of those they work with.
To hear more about Kitchen United, and to hear more from Atul Sood, join us this June in Dallas for The Ghost Kitchen Conference, the first ever in-person conference devoted to ghost kitchens. Further details can be found here: https://ontrendconcepts.com/ghost-kitchen-conference/. We look forward to seeing you there!