Kroger Invests in Kitchen United

Ghost kitchen and restaurant tech business finishes $100M funding round from several backers
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Kitchen United exterior
Several supporters, including Kroger and Circle K, recently invested in Kitchen United's foodservice hub business.

Kitchen United is on a roll. The ghost kitchen and restaurant hub technology startup announced $100 million in fresh Series C funding. The Kroger Co. is one of the new backers, along with fellow retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard /Circle K, Restaurant Brands International, B. Riley Venture Capital, Simon and Philips Edison & Co.

The fresh influx of capital from new and existing companies brings the company’s investment to date to $175 million, officials said. "This Series C financing further solidifies Kitchen United's leadership position in the industry," remarked Michael Montagano, CEO and board member. "Kitchen United uniquely sits at the intersection of technology, food and real estate. Our solution serves as the technological and physical infrastructure revolutionizing centrally located distribution hubs through streamlining off-premises ordering and consumption. To that end, we are thrilled to partner with leading investors across grocery, convenience, restaurants, malls, packaging, logistics, distribution, automation, and urban and suburban real estate development.

Kevin Lewis, chief marketing officer at Alimentation Couche-Tard, said that Kitchen United poses new opportunities in the foodservice-at-retail space. "We see many commercial opportunities in partnering with Kitchen United as it prepares for considerable scale. We believe this business stands apart from other industry players with its centralized locations, multi-format offerings, experienced management team, and mature technology stack — all of which align with Circle K's mission to make our customers' lives a little easier every day as we work together to shape the future of convenience," Lewis declared.

Kroger’s investment follows recent collaborations with Kitchen United. Just this month, a new Kitchen United MIX opened at a Kroger location in Dallas, where shoppers use an in-store kiosk to order food from multiple restaurants on one order for pickup or delivery. Kitchen United MIX hubs are also located inside Kroger stores in Houston and Westwood, Calif.  

Kitchen United currently operates around 200 kitchens across several areas of the U.S. and reported triple-digit growth over the past three years. The company plans to focus on Los Angeles, New York City and Texas as its primary markets, with plans for expansion in other regions.

Serving more than 9 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North AmericaAlimentation Couche-Tard is a global leader in convenience and fuel retail, and operates in 26 countries and territories. The company is home to Couche-Tard and Circle K banners and has more than 14,100 stores. It is No. 18 on The PG 100.

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