Shared kitchens for delivery-only restaurants is big business in China
In China’s biggest cities, restaurants are struggling to satisfy the appetites of customers ordering food delivery through apps on their phones. That’s leading to a booming market for renting kitchen space, without tables, chairs or waiters. One shared kitchen startup, Panda Selected, plans to announce on Friday a $50 million investment from a group of international backers. The Beijing-based company is snapping up real estate to get ahead of local rivals and a deep-pocketed competitor from Los Angeles run by Travis Kalanick, the billionaire co-founder of Uber Technologies Inc. Kitchens are shared between restaurants to reduce their overheads with Panda Selected providing the venue, supplies and marketing. The company makes money through monthly fees as well as additional charges for services such as data analytics to help merchants adjust menus to boost sales on delivery platforms Meituan and Ele.me.