America’s largest grocery chain is cooking up a ghost kitchen for customers to order food on demand.
Kroger on Wednesday announced its partnership with Kitchen United to make takeout and delivery orders grocery chains across the country. The partnership comes as more consumers seek out prepared meals during the pandemic.
The off-premise restaurant kitchen will feature up to six local, regional or national restaurant brands cooking in Kroger stores, the company said in a news release. Customers will be able to place orders using the Kitchen United website, app or order on-site using kiosks.
Restaurant staff will then cook up orders. Delivery service fees will be determined by third-party providers, the company said.
"As we continue to define Kroger as a food destination, this collaboration creates another seamless way for our customers to order lunch or dinner for pick up while they shop for groceries or for delivery to their location of choice," Craig Gauden, Kroger's director of partnership development said in a statement.
The ghost kitchen business model accelerated during the pandemic when more consumers relied heavily on food pick up's or deliveries. Restaurants or multiple restaurants will use a shared kitchen space to help cut overhead, reducing the cost of rent and labor.
Walmart rolled out a similar partnership with Ghost Kitchen Brands in March allowing shoppers in select locations to choose items from menus of 15 national and regional restaurants and CPG food concepts like Quiznos, Saladworks and more in one order, Nation’s Restaurant News reported. The on-site kitchens also partner with third-party delivery services like Uber Eats.