- Kroger partners with Kitchen United to bring ghost kitchens to supermarkets.
- New types of ghost kitchens are emerging since first becoming popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Kitchen United and Kroger will partner with restaurant chains for meal pick up and delivery.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
Kroger is partnering with a ghost kitchen company, Kitchen United, to provide customers the option of ordering and picking up restaurant meals in its stores.
Ghost kitchens were originally conceived as a delivery-only model allowing various restaurants to share commercial kitchen space. Ghost kitchens grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic as delivery demands increased and the model has adapted to meet consumers' needs.
Kitchen United and Kroger will feature food from various restaurant brands that will be offered at participating Kroger locations for customers to order for pickup or delivery, according to a press release from Kroger on Wednesday.
Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, said it has seen demand increase for freshly prepared meals and the partnership with Kitchen United will allow customers to shop for groceries and place orders or pickup restaurant food at the same time.
Kitchen United and Kroger are expected to partner with six national and local restaurants, but are waiting to announce their partners until they get closer to the launch date this fall, Atul Sood, Chief Business Officer of Kitchen United, told Insider in an email.
Customers will be able to order food from the participating restaurants at one time through Kitchen United's website, app, or at a kiosk at participating Kroger locations, Kitchen United and Kroger explained in their statement. Delivery will be handled by delivery service partners such as Grubhub, Doordash, Uber Eats, and Postmates, Sood said.
The first location to launch this new concept will be a Ralphs supermarket in Los Angeles, California, this fall.
"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," said Craig Gauden, Kroger's director of partnership development, in a statement.