A virtual dining room powered by ghost kitchens. With the best restaurants in New York and the exclusive brands of Zuul Market, order at several restaurants and have them delivered together in the same order. The virtual restaurant company Kitchen United announced on Monday the acquisition of ghost kitchen developer Zuul for an undisclosed amount. This is Kitchen United's first acquisition and will support the growth of the company's ghost kitchen network in New York City.
Zuul started as a traditional ghost kitchen company, providing kitchen space and delivery support to restaurants. More recently, it has focused on licensing its software, ZuuLos, which restaurants can use to launch their own multi-concept delivery operations from one place. It allows diners to mix and match items from multiple brands in a single order, similar to Kitchen United's Mix technology. This agreement may be a sign that ghost kitchens are reaching a stage of market maturity in which they are more likely to consolidate.
Zuul believes that most dining rooms will evolve into ghost kitchens of “hybrid dining rooms”, with the opportunity to rethink a business model based on sustainable foot traffic. Earlier this year, Zuul launched ZuuLos, an operating system designed for managing ghost kitchens that allows operators to set up virtual dining rooms. It's an increasingly crowded space, as the restaurant software industry reacts to the rapid rise of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants. Aurify is working with Zuul to launch a multi-brand ghost kitchen at its Midtown location, which was previously dependent on heavy foot traffic.
Sood didn't rule out the possibility that new acquisitions by small ghost kitchen operators would form part of the company's strategy.