California retail chain Ralphs and Kitchen United MIX have opened an offsite central kitchen facility that will provide prepared and other value-added foods to Ralphs customers.
Ralphs, a Kroger banner, and Kitchen United MIX opened their first “kitchen center” in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Customers can build their freshly prepared, on-demand restaurant meals from any or all of several participating restaurants to satisfy even the pickiest eaters, according to Ralphs.
"When our customers think of food, they think of Kroger," said Dan De La Rosa, Group vice president of fresh merchandising for Kroger. "The Kitchen United collaboration provides the fresh, on-demand meals our customers crave. It is one more innovative example of how Kroger is fulfilling its commitment to anything, anywhere, anytime."
The Los Angeles location is the first of the Kroger-Kitchen United collaboration. Additional locations in Texas are expected to open soon.
"We couldn't be prouder that Kroger and Kitchen United chose to open the collaboration's first location in Ralphs," said Kendra Doyel, vice president of merchandising for Ralphs. "Our customers come to us to find the freshest food and to answer the all-important 'What's for dinner?' question. This collaboration provides our customers one more simple meal solution that they can pair with Ralphs' fresh products."
The kitchen center will enable customers to place an order digitally using Kitchen United's proprietary MIX platform via web, mobile, or an in-person ordering kiosk. Customers can then pick up their meal onsite or have it delivered. Restaurant staff will prepare the orders and delivery service fees will be determined by third-party providers.
"We proudly operate successful ghost kitchens across the country and will apply that expertise to reimagine takeout and delivery within Kroger stores," said Michael Montagano, chief executive officer of Kitchen United. "Our work together provides millions of Kroger customers access to their favorite restaurant cuisines in a convenient supermarket format, while providing Kitchen United and our restaurant partners a high-touch, interactive storefront. We are excited to bring this creative solution to the Westwood community."
Customers of the Westwood Ralphs can choose to mix and match their meals from Fresh Brothers, Bushi by Jinya, Sajj Mediterranean, Doghaus and other local foodservice providers. Customers can place their orders from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
Kroger and Kitchen United announced their national partnership in August.
"We first partnered with Kitchen United MIX in Pasadena," said Geoff Goodman, CEO of Fresh Brothers. "Their operations team is wonderful to work with and their collaboration with Kroger so ground-breaking, we jumped at the opportunity to be part of this innovative offering in the heart of Bruin country. With UCLA just steps away, along with strong residential, office and healthcare audiences, we felt this would be an ideal fit for our brand. We're very excited to be part of the Westwood Village community."
Founded in 2017, Kitchen United is a leading provider of restaurant hub technology, streamlined logistics and turn-key commercial kitchen space that empowers foodservice operators to tap into the growing off-premise business opportunity and offers consumers a first-of-its-kind to-go experience. The company offers a value-driven, low-risk way for emerging and established restaurant brands to enter into new markets, grow revenue through off-premise dining and expand delivery areas.