Kitchen United is the California-based parent company of Kitchen United Mix. It has raised about $50 million in funding from investors such as Google Ventures, New York City development company RXR Realty and financial services company Fidelity.
The company got its start as a delivery-only kitchen, helping restaurants consolidate back-of-house operations, then sending the prepared food off via to-go order or delivery. It has since started adding on-site ordering options, said Atul Sood, chief business officer for the company.
“As sexy as delivery is these days, take out is still a big part of our business,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that all of the kitchen spaces, or kitchen centers as we call them, were geared for takeout.”
Once customers arrive at the Wells Street location, they can either pick up their mobile order or head to an ordering kiosk. Unlike in a traditional food hall, however, customers won’t wait in line at the different restaurant stalls. Instead, all on-site ordering will be done in a single spot.
There will be no sit-down service and no servers. Delivery drivers will also pop in and out, Sood said
The idea is to ride the online ordering wave triggered by the pandemic. Lunch spots around the Loop are expecting that when their customers return to the office for work, they’ll still want to leave for lunch. But they’ll also want to order it ahead of time, grab and go.
The new Loop location will have 45 indoor seats for people who want to eat there, plus a patio.
Restaurants in the food hall now open include Nashville hot chicken sandwich spot Bad Mutha Clucka and gourmet hot dog restaurant Dog Haus, plus restaurants that serve Indian food, tacos, Hawaiian and plant-based dishes. The grand opening is scheduled for May 19.
Kitchen United Mix plans to add more restaurants as well, with multiple brands operating out of each of the 10 kitchens, Sood said.