The restaurant industry is rapidly evolving, and the emergence of ghost kitchens is a testament to that. Ghost kitchens are virtual dining rooms powered by delivery-only restaurants, and they are quickly becoming the go-to option for many diners. Recently, Kitchen United announced the acquisition of ghost kitchen developer Zuul for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition will support the growth of Kitchen United's ghost kitchen network in New York City.
So, what is Zuul ghost kitchen? 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. This allows diners to mix and match items from multiple brands in a single order, similar to Kitchen United's Mix technology. Zuul believes that most dining rooms will evolve into ghost kitchens or “hybrid dining rooms”, with the opportunity to rethink a business model based on sustainable foot traffic.
To this end, Zuul launched ZuuLos, an operating system designed for managing ghost kitchens that allows operators to set up virtual dining rooms. Aurify is working with Zuul to launch a multi-brand ghost kitchen at its Midtown location, which was previously dependent on heavy foot traffic. It's clear that ghost kitchens are reaching a stage of market maturity in which they are more likely to consolidate. As such, it's possible that new acquisitions by small ghost kitchen operators will form part of Kitchen United's strategy going forward.