This Pasadena, Calif.-based chain of ghost kitchens has ambitious plans, envisioning hundreds of locations across the country. Kitchen United ended 2019 with three locations (Pasadena, Chicago, Scottsdale, Ariz.) open. At least another four are planned in 2020 (next to open are Austin, Texas, and downtown Los Angeles).
Company officials say they are fine tuning their site-selection process. Initially, the plan to move into opportunity zones put locations too far away from consumers and was “the wrong path.” Now Kitchen United is hoping to locate more in dense areas.
Last September, the company closed a $40 million series B round of funding led by Alphabet’s GV and New York real estate company RXR Realty, which will likely bring the brand to New York City.
Launched in 2017, Kitchen United is helmed by independent restaurant operator Jim Collins, owner of Town Kitchen and Grill in Montrose, Calif., and his leadership team includes former executives from Taco Bell and McDonald’s. The concept was co-founded by John Miller, CEO of Pasadena-based tech incubator Cali Group, which also backs the CaliBurger chain, Miso Robotics (creator of the robot cook Flippy) and PopID (facial recognition software).