The Los Angeles-based startup scored $10 million in investment funds from GV, formerly Google Ventures, in October.
Los Angeles-based Kitchen United announced Tuesday that it will open a virtual restaurant in Columbus this spring, with up to 14 restaurant partners.
Located at 1471-1481 W. Goodale Blvd. in Grandview, this shared, delivery-only kitchen facility will allow restaurant partners to sell their food via pick-up or third-party delivery services—like Uber Eats or Postmates. The virtual restaurant model, also known as a "ghost kitchen," will allow restaurant owners to gauge their success inexpensively, since Kitchen United provides a common back-of-the-house and marketing infrastructure, which lowers the barriers to entry in the market.
“We’re really excited about Columbus. The population is growing at twice the national average,” said Kitchen United COO Meredith Sandland in a phone interview on Tuesday. “From a delivery perspective, there’s a lot of students graduating every year from The Ohio State University and there’s a great density in the inner suburbs and a fantastic vibrant Downtown.”
The location of the kitchen center was carefully chosen by data analysis of demographics, income levels and cuisine-specific demand, as well as drive time and traffic patterns.
“Our Grandview Heights location provides easy access to the suburbs as well as Downtown, allowing delivery service providers and pickup customers a quick and convenient spot to collect their meals,” said Kitchen United CEO Jim Collins in a statement.
Along with Atlanta, the Columbus facility is part of the first expansion phase of Kitchen United, which expects to open 15 additional locations in the coming year throughout the U.S. Last October, the company won a $10 million investment from GV, formerly Google Ventures (the capital venture arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc.). The investment firm Cowen estimates food delivery sales to climb to 70 to 80 percent of annual restaurant industry growth by 2023.
The company is still in the process of recruiting restaurants and culinary concepts for its Grandview facility. Interested businesses can contact Kitchen United through its website, at kitchenunited.com.