KROGER is set to launch a number of “ghost kitchens” offering restaurant fare in its stores.
Shoppers will be able to purchase meals for pickup and delivery at three stores in Columbus, Ohio later this year, the retailer announced.
“Mixed Food Hall” locations, in partnership with Kitchen United, will likely feature items like Hardee’s, Capriotti’s and Pei Wei.
And this move hopes to make life easier for busy customers, reports Grocery Dive.
Kroger Merchandising Vice President for Columbus, Ohio said, “We’re always looking for new and unique ways to help our customers answer the question, ‘what’s for dinner tonight? ?’ question.
“Working with Kitchen United is special because customers’ restaurant-quality meals will be prepared while they shop for the fresh foods and staples their families need.”
It is understood that the food halls will feature selections from at least six of the ten restaurant brands Kitchen United works with, including Nékter Juice Bar, Saladworks, Hardee’s, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop and Pei Wei Asian Kitchen.
Kroger currently has 14 Kitchen United take-out locations in Texas, Arizona, Illinois and New York.
In 2021, the team opened its first Ralph’s Kitchen United cafeteria in Los Angeles, joining Houston and Dallas.
Ghost kitchens act as one-stop outlets offering a number of different brands to deliver their ready-made products.
Walmart has opened some of its own, offering prepared meals from shopper favorites like Saladworks, Taco del Mar and The Cheesecake Factory Bakery, according to Grocery Dive.
The business model benefits the stores and brands that carry them because they see it as a “very successful and economic expansion tactic,” says Eric Lavinder, director of development at Saladworks’ parent company.
They also don’t require a company like Saladworks to pay for real estate, while profiting from the sale of their assets.