The supermarket giant Kroger Co. is launching two “ghost kitchens” in its stores in partnership with Indianapolis-based ClusterTruck, which operates delivery-only restaurants. The kitchens will provide a variety of freshly prepared meals, and with “no service or delivery fees,” according to a news release on Thursday (Oct. 8).
The Kroger stores slated for the new service are in Indianapolis and greater Columbus, Ohio. ClusterTruck bills itself as a technology startup that “removes the pain points of the third-party delivery model.”
The companies said that they developed the concept through a test program operating in Columbus, Indianapolis and Carmel, Indiana, as well as a King Soopers Delivery Kitchen powered by ClusterTruck in Denver.
According to the release, “the new concept will repurpose approximately 1,000 square feet at each participating store to create a culinary space for ClusterTruck staff to prepare meals for quick delivery and in-store pickup.” The operation will deliver restaurant-quality food from a menu of 80 meals.
“Kroger Delivery Kitchen powered by ClusterTruck will allow our customers to access restaurant-quality fresh and delicious meals like never before, and without having to pay excessive service or delivery fees,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief information officer.
“The way our customers order and receive meals is evolving, and ClusterTruck’s innovative culinary and digital design is cracking the code for the future of profitable meal delivery,” he added.
ClusterTruck looks to “elevate the prepared food delivery experience,” said Chris Baggott, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “As the prepared-food delivery category continues to explode, we’re thrilled to play such a pivotal role in Kroger’s fresh and forward-thinking meal delivery strategy.”
In August, US Foods Holding Corp., an Illinois-based foodservice distributor, announced its plans to help restaurant operators launch ghost kitchens. With the new program, the company said, businesses will be able to streamline the process of starting a ghost kitchen. Included in the package is technology that helps with menu selections, marketing and consultations with US Foods staff.