Ghost kitchen provider Zuul is now licensing its proprietary technology platform, giving restaurants the ability to essentially become their own ghost kitchens and tap into its network of building partners.
It’s the next step for the New York company as it seeks to to scale up its core Zuul Market business, which has been servicing office buildings and apartments with daily batch deliveries from its SoHo ghost kitchen. The business has been so successful that Zuul is making the technology behind it available to other multibrand operations to help meet demand.
“The ability to drive batched deliveries to buildings, with the accounting, menu architecture, training, and kitchen management system to power the model, is a unique feature set we believe adds immense value to a new class of operators emerging as virtual brands and ghost kitchens continue to proliferate,” said Zuul Chief Technology Officer Tyler Wiest in a statement.
Among its first customers is Aurify Brands, parent company of Five Guys, The Little Beet and others. Using ZuulOS, Little Beet has begun offering multiple Aurify concepts for delivery out of its Midtown Manhattan restaurant to nearby buildings in Zuul’s network. It has been a boon for the restaurant that depended heavily on foot traffic before the pandemic.
“We realized we could bundle our brands together into one guest experience to generate more revenue from a single location, all made possible through ZuulOS,” said Little Beet CEO Becky Mulligan in a statement. The location is now offering menus from Little Beet, Five Guys, Melt Shop and a virtual concept called EAT Tacos.
Zuul Market works like this: Building management offers the service as an amenity to tenants or office workers. Those consumers can place orders before a given time using a custom online ordering portal, and orders arrive as a single delivery later that day. Zuul works with various courier services including NPD Logistics and Relay to handle delivery.
“The unique ability of our technology to batch orders across multiple brands and send with a single courier offers a compelling alternative to the profitability problem with the existing delivery providers,” said COO Kristen Barnett in a statement.
Rather than continuing to add its own ghost kitchen facilities, Zuul will look to grow through licensing, with plans to extend its technology to catering companies and food halls throughout New York City.
Meanwhile, it continues to add to its building network, which currently encompasses 60 properties in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn and includes partnerships with developers Silverstein Properties and Broad Street Development as well as the offices of WeWork.
Restaurants that use ZuulOS pay a $500 monthly fee along with a 10% commission on each order. It’s currently available only in NYC but will be expanded to other markets this year.
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