Kitchen United CEO details massive cross-industry investment

Tech Tracker summarizes what’s happening in the technology sector of the restaurant industry, including news from restaurants, suppliers, digital platforms and third-party delivery companies.

Our main story this month comes from an interview with Kitchen United CEO Michael Montagno, who provided insight into the ghost kitchen company’s recent $100 million fundraising round, with investments from a wide range of industries, including Burger King’s parent company, Restaurant Brands International; supermarket company, the Kroger Co.; the Simon shopping center company; and convenience store chain, Couche-Tard / Circle K.

We also have quarterly earnings information from major restaurant technology players, including Olo, Toast and third-party delivery platforms, as well as other tech M&A and acquisition news. .

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know and why:

Kitchen United CEO Michael Montagno breaks down $100 million fundraiser

Ghost kitchen tech company Kitchen United last month announced a massive $100 million fundraising round led by investors from a variety of industries, including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and malls. For CEO Michael Montagno, this new partnership with Restaurant Brands International, Kroger, Simon and Circle-K represents an opportunity to invest in the company’s technology stack, open locations in new markets and expand the influence of ghost kitchens in the growing on-demand market. sector.

“We are looking at areas not just adjacent to our industry and while some people might say they would like to disrupt those industries, our vision has always been to enable those partners to adapt to changing consumer preferences,” Montagno said in an interview with Restaurant News of the Nation.

So in the months and years to come, consumers will soon be able to order pickup from a ghost kitchen in the mall while they shop, or have toiletries, snacks and other products delivered to them. convenience store at their home, all under the Kitchen United platform. . The company’s goal, Montagno said, is to relieve some of the pressures of on-demand delivery through centralization.

“Our vision is that to solve these challenges, there must be outsourced distribution points that maximize throughput volume and enable pickup and delivery as well as walk-in orders,” he said. “This will allow us to take pressure off catch rates, reduce customer transaction costs and make every delivery truly profitable. We believe this happens by having the distribution, technology and physical infrastructure that powers delivery under a single hub, and giving customers more choice.

In the future, Montagno said, he hopes it could make transaction fees negligible for operators and increase driver productivity. Going forward, his team wants to bring more Kitchen United hubs to major markets, including a recent expansion in Miami, and soon new markets, Columbus and Indianapolis, which they will enter with Kroger. The main focus, however, will be to build shelves around existing hubs in markets where Kitchen United already has a presence to push delivery efficiency to the max.

Tech sector quarterly results: Toast, Olo, DoorDash and Uber

  • Toast’s second quarter showed massive growth in the technology platform, which saw 58% revenue growth in the last quarter, largely attributable to ramping up development (the company added 68,000 restaurants using the platform). -form). Labor and food costs – like so many others in this operating environment – ​​were the only factors that held back Toast’s performance this quarter.
  • Olo, meanwhile, shared a revenue shortfall for its second quarter ended June 30, and the tech company operated with a loss of $11.9 million, mostly due to macroeconomic challenges. With this trickle-down effect, Olo saw a slowdown in the number of companies subscribing to external software as they struggled to cope with rising inflationary costs.
  • DoorDash’s second quarter was marked by growth, with the company’s total orders placed last quarter up 23% year-over-year to $426 million, a record for the company. Total gross orders (including fees and app orders) also hit a record high, although the third-party delivery service still thinks it has room to grow.
  • The biggest news to come out of Uber 2Q’s earnings call is that the company is ending Uber Rewards and instead focusing on its cross-functional membership fee-based loyalty program, Uber One, which offers benefits in ride-sharing, catering and grocery delivery services. . Uber Eats business grew 25% in the US alone last quarter.

In other tech news….

Around the horn of the catering technology industry, restaurant delivery service Waitr changed his name to ASAP, to “align with a new business strategy” of delivering anything across all verticals, not just the restaurant industry. Catering technology company ParTech acquired Menu Technologies AG, which will add online ordering to ParTech’s suite of digital capabilities for restaurants. In this month’s segment on tech fundraising news, China-based point-of-sale software developer, MenuSifu has raised $20 million in a Series B fundraiser, with plans to further expand its presence in the United States. Robot delivery company Ottonomy raised $3.3 million in a seed funding round and will release the latest version of its delivery robot, Ottobot 2.0, which now features fully customizable cabins and increased mobility capabilities (including crabbing).

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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