Kroger is pressing into hot food delivery through “dark kitchens.”
The grocer has teamed up with ClusterTruck, a software platform that powers vertically integrated delivery-only kitchens, to make it happen. By offering multiple menus from one central scratch kitchen, Kroger Delivery Kitchen will deliver meals on-demand without service or delivery fees.
ClusterTruck was co-founded in 2015 and launched its first kitchen in 2016. The Indianapolis-based company’s dark kitchens are powered by a proprietary software system that uses custom algorithms to optimize kitchen and delivery operations. This systematic approach to meal delivery ensures that nearly every order is in the hands of the customer within 7 minutes of the meal's preparation. The average time between placing an order and a customer receiving their food is less than 30 minutes.
"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," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's CIO. "Kroger is leveraging ClusterTruck's advanced technology to ensure our customers don't have to sacrifice quality and value for convenience when it comes to meal delivery. 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."
For the initial rollout, Kroger Delivery Kitchen is launching in Carmel, IN, – where Kroger and ClusterTruck are jointly opening a fourth kitchen – and Indianapolis and Columbus, OH. Additionally, King Soopers Delivery Kitchen Powered by ClusterTruck will serve customers in Denver, CO.
"Our recipe for success has been a blend of cutting-edge software combined with high-quality ingredients and delicious variety," said Chris Baggott, ClusterTruck co-founder and CEO. "This winning combination has allowed us to thrill customers across the country, while achieving profitability. We're excited to partner with Kroger to redefine the food experience for their valued customers."
"ClusterTruck's ultra-fresh and quick made-from-scratch meals set them apart in the food delivery landscape," said Suzy Monford, Kroger's group vice president of fresh. "Kroger Delivery Kitchen customers can order pizza or pad Thai on the same order and get it delivered hot and fresh, within minutes of the meals being prepared. We are excited to work together to bring this partnership to life to provide our customers with real food delivered to their door step!"