LOS ANGELES — Kitchen United, a virtual restaurant concept, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures.
Launched in 2017, Kitchen United operates “Kitchen Center” facilities that hold 10 to 20 restaurants in converted warehouses. These commercial kitchens provide food service providers with a food production facility as well as insights from industry veterans on how to profitably expand into the food delivery business. The company uses aggregate data, including data on local demographics and cuisine-specific demand mapping, to identify the best locations for these centers and the best restaurants to house there.
Kitchen United provides its restaurants access to opt-in consumer and operational data to tailor their businesses, meet consumer demand and realize operational efficiency, the company said. Examples of these functions include flagging unpopular menu choices, allowing restaurants to reduce menu size and tailoring labor size based on demand.
“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 addressable delivery market,” Kitchen United said. “Kitchen United’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchens also provide food entrepreneurs the flexibility and business intelligence needed to enter this rapidly growing market.”
Kitchen United plans to use the funding to open new facilities in Los Angeles; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Phoenix; Seattle; Denver; and New York City by the end of 2019. The funds also will help build the company’s real estate, marketing, engineering and operations functions.
“Consumers are demanding new dining choices at ever increasing levels,” said Jim Collins, chief executive officer of Kitchen United. “Our Kitchen Centers are designed to bring production closer to homes and businesses across the country, empowering local and national businesses alike to reach new markets. We’re thrilled to work with GV as we bring many more of these kitchen spaces to life in the years ahead.”
As part of the investment, GV general partner Adam Ghobarah will join Kitchen United’s board of directors. The company’s leadership team also includes veterans from Taco Bell, McDonald’s, SBE Entertainment, Wolfgang Puck and more.
“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,” Mr. Ghobarah said. “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.”