Kitchen United pivots to software
The ghost kitchen company ended a once-promising grocery store partnership. Is this the end of an era?
It’s fitting that while we’ve been squabbling over the term we use to describe them, a major ghost kitchen company quietly closed its physical locations. Kitchen United confirmed on Tuesday that it would focus on software instead of real estate, ditching a partnership with grocery giant Kroger in the process.
A Kroger spokesperson confirmed the news with a statement to multiple outlets. “Unfortunately, Kitchen United will no longer operate in our stores,” they wrote, pointing Kroger’s customers toward its own prepared food offerings.
In a Wednesday LinkedIn post, Kitchen United CEO Atul Sood wrote the grocery store closures were “in an effort to focus on our core technology.” That tech lets customers order from multiple concepts within one Kitchen United location, which has negotiated deals with local and national brands.
In September, Sood lamented Kitchen United’s “ghost kitchen” label. He called it a “misfortune,” arguing the company is something more. Others advocated for killing the term in favor of something broader. Writing here last spring, I hoped we could all move post-ghost. Maybe it’s finally time.