Kroger launches ghost kitchen delivery in Midwest

Kroger to require all customers to wear a face mask

Kroger joins Walmart in requiring all customers who enter their stores to wear a face mask.

America’s largest grocery retailer is getting in on the food delivery wars.

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Kroger announced Thursday it will roll out two ghost kitchens at grocery stores in Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, in partnership with ClusterTruck, a tech start-up that operates delivery-only restaurants.

Kroger launches on-premise ghost kitchens in partnership with Midwest start-up ClusterTruck. The first location opens today in Fishers, Indiana. (Kroger). 

The supermarket chain said the ghost kitchens — cooking spaces that serve food on a pick-up or delivery-only basis — will cook up a variety of freshly prepared meals on-demand with no service or delivery fees to cater to the ongoing need for food delivery during the pandemic.

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Kroger piloted a ghost kitchen with ClusterTruck in 2019 before the pandemic. However, with dining rooms shut down during the COVID-19 and operating on pick-up and delivery only, restaurants have become more reliant on ghost kitchen models in which restaurants only operate on a delivery or pick-up only basis.

Customers located near the Indianapolis or Columbus locations can select from a menu of more than 80 meals.

FOOD DELIVERY FROM GHOST KITCHENS BRINGS RESTAURANT QUALITY FOOD TO THE MASSES

A number of food tech companies have experimented with ghost or cloud kitchens in recent years. Third-party food delivery service DoorDash last year debuted the satellite kitchen in the Bay Area in 2019. And Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick launched CloudKitchens, a similar satellite kitchen and food delivery service and culinary space.

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