With people returning to the office, more opportunities exist in the business lunch marketplace. To that end, ghost kitchen company Just Kitchen has started a pilot project with Panasonic.
The business-to-business pilot project with Panasonic Taiwan will provide food to the 500 employees at the company’s head office. Employees will be able to order food through a portal. JustKitchen will fulfill the orders and deliver them on-premise to Panasonic employees. Once the food arrives, it will be placed in a food locker. A QR code will be sent to the employee, letting the person know the food has arrived. They use the code to get the food out of the locker.
“Ordering from Panasonic is a first of its kind,” CEO JustKitchen Jason Chen said. “The employees will order from our self-designed ordering mobile app before a set scheduled time. Then the order will be bundled, labeled and assigned to individual lockers located on various floors of Panasonic HQ. The ordering employee will be notified via their mobile phone with a designed code to scan at the warming locker and self-pickup.”
Founded in 2019
JustKitchen was founded at the end of 2019 in Taiwan and made its first delivery in March of 2020. The company has expanded within Taiwan but also operates in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Ordering is done through the JustKitchen website and is fulfilled at the closest ghost kitchen to the customer. Deliveries are done by bike through a third-party delivery company.
For selection, JustKitchen offers an array of virtual brands but has also developed partnerships with companies like TGI Fridays or Paul Cafe.
“We work with the local restaurants here in Hong Kong and everything in-between, everything from a one store with legacy and brand that’s Michelin star, right up to TGI Friday,” Chen said.
Looking to grow quickly, JustKitchen raised capital in 2021. The company went public through the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, raising $16 million, and added a $4 million private placement. The Canadian stock market was chosen partially due to Chen’s connection with the financial markets in Canada.
“We felt there really was a need to get going as quickly as we could and really get out into the market,” Chen said.
JustKitchen has plans to operate in the United States and other Asian countries. It is part of the growing ghost kitchen model. Some analysts have predicted that ghost kitchens will be a trillion industry in the coming years. While a lot of different types of food have been tried in a ghost kitchen, QSR food appears to be the best. People want quality food at a reasonable price.
Chen said there is a lot of opportunity in the business-to-business food delivery market.
“We do see a huge runway in this space,” Chen said. “Employers are continuously seeking a work environment that promotes productivity. And to have one food outlet in a corporate facility means one food offering (or at best a couple), so it is not hard to imagine that food variety will be demanded by its staff. This is where we differ, the ability to offer 8-10 brands from the nearest spoke to the office building with one ordering interface.”