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Convert parking lots into dark kitchen, a project that obtains 700 millions of dollars


The coronavirus crisis has caused a clear transfer of business volume on-premise or on premises to the increasingly numerous options of delivery Y takeaway. Thus, the market segment associated with this mode of operation is increasing despite the difficulties the sector was going through.

There have been numerous ideas that have emerged in the past months in this regard. Definitely, among the most talked about are out-of-store pickup, on the sidewalk and lockers contactless. Other options that have existed for a long time have become more relevant. It is the case the ghost kitchens or dark kitchen, The rails drive-thru and kitchen kits.

In Miami (Florida, OF. UU.) an emerging company specialized in technological solutions for restaurants has taken advantage of the situation to launch a project that has generated a lot of interest. So much so that the start-up has managed to raise more than 700 millions of dollars during a private financing round.

Among the investors stands out the famous group Mubadala Investment Company based in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), that through its subsidiary Mubadala Capital has contributed the bulk of the amount; as well as UBS Asset Management, Target Global Y Oaktree Capital Management (which has injected money through its SoftBank Vision Fund).

How could a small business like REEF Technology attract interest to your product?

The secret lies in the promise made by the company. This promise consists of recover the useless spaces of cities and turn them into productive surfaces. Specific, the company has its peephole on empty parking lots.

Thanks to technology, software Y know-how that they own, at REEF Technology they have the ability to transform a car park used below their means into a source of income for restaurants.

The idea is simple: establish distribution points in suburban neighborhoods to offer food delivery at home outside the epicenter of cities. And they are doing tremendously well for what it seems, well they have already installed 4500 redistribution stations across the United States.

In fact, the initial success they have achieved is such that they have not taken long to extrapolate their business model to other stores with direct sales to the final consumer. In this way some of the spaces of REEF Technology have management capacity also for electronic products, clothing, feeding, leisure and the like.

There are hardly any establishments that are not interested. The reason behind this success is monetary.. Thanks to modules installed in suburban neighborhoods, the different collaborating brands save rental costs.

A classic example is that of restaurants that are just entering the mobility market. They need to adapt their spaces to be able to provide the service (order packaging, collection point for delivery people, etc.). These spaces can be achieved in two ways, stealing useful surface from the premises; that is to say, limiting the capacity of the restaurant hall at a time when capacity is already low; or expanding the store, which obviously implies a reform or renting another adjacent space.

Given that REEF Technology manages to value unused land, the prices they pay from the start-up in terms of acquisition or rental are laughable. This is then passed on to the end customers, that can experience substantial savings over more traditional modes of operation.

The accelerated expansion of the start-up and the 300 million of investment that have come from the hand of Oaktree Capital Management, a financial firm based in Los Angeles (California, OF. UU.) specialized in alternative market strategies, have led to the erection of the Neighborhood Property Group line of business, whose main task is the acquisition of land that enhances the logistics of REEF Technology.

In this way, thanks to innovative ideas and an untimely push due to the coronavirus crisis, REEF Technology has gone from being a dark kitchen manager founded just two years ago to installing reconditioned intermodal containers to serve as a distribution point for the meals received from one or more restaurants.

Its penetration in the catering market has been so deep that from the directive of the start-up They have even decided to launch their own brand through their service. In this way, REEF Technology has its own menu in order management applications online for restaurants, and send your orders from the trailers parked in the abandoned parking lots.

Are already 100 Neighbor Kitchens which are open by EE. THE. More of 20 areas of influence around the main cities have their own distribution points. An example of this can be seen in the vicinity of the headquarters of the technology company. In Miami there are already 18 operational containers. Of course, Everything suggests that this number will continue to increase in the short and medium term.

With this original concept, REEF Technology has made a name for itself in the world of phantom kitchens. Its most direct competitors in the US market are CloudKitchens and Ordermark, companies that have also obtained significant amounts in successive rounds of financing, including money from investors in common with REEF.

It is still too early to know which of these companies will dominate the market in the future.. At the moment each of them appears to serve different business niches, and also do not share the geographical scope. But it is only a matter of time before direct competition between the aforementioned companies begins., because the proliferation and demand for ghost kitchens continues to increase at great speed.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.


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