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Blog Series
08/10/2022

Exploring New Ways to Pair Technology & Foodservice

Alimentation Couche-Tard's latest investment is in a ghost kitchen and restaurant hub technology company.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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a robot delivering food

Convenience store retailers have really upped their game when it comes to foodservice, and are giving restaurants a run for their money. But why not take it one step further and consider entering the ghost kitchen space. There are than 150,000 convenience stores in the United States and most are accessible to the public — something restaurants are struggling with when it comes to ghost kitchens.

Why am I talking about foodservice in a technology post, again? Because the two have become undeniably entwined. In a Convenience Store News webinar earlier this year, Paytronix content specialist Ryan DiLello pointed out that if a convenience retailer does want to seize the ghost kitchen opportunity, they will require several key elements in their tech stack. They include:

  • Loyalty software that includes email, text and push notification marketing;
  • Selling and order fulfillment; and
  • Inventory and cost management.

Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is one retailer who recognizes this opportunity. The parent company to the Circle K and Couche-Tard convenience store banners is part of the latest funding for Kitchen United, a ghost kitchen and restaurant hub technology company. Kitchen United raised $100 million in its Series C funding round from investors that include Couche-Tard, The Kroger Co. and Restaurant Brands International, among others.

According to Kevin Lewis, chief marketing officer at Couche-Tard, the service that Kitchen United provides aligns with the convenience operator's mission to make customers' lives easier.

Ghost kitchens are just one more example of how technology executives and foodservice leaders can make all of our lives easier. After all, isn't that what technology is supposed to do?

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