business

Kroger Looks to Cash in on Delivery-Only Kitchens With ClusterTruck Partnership

Kroger customers can now have restaurant-style meals delivered to their door as the supermarket partners with the cloud-kitchen platform ClusterTruck.
"As we're growing, we were starting to think about strategic partnerships and folks that can take our software platform to the next level," Chris Baggott, CEO and co-founder of ClusterTruck, told Cheddar Thursday. "Kroger — being a Midwestern company like ClusterTruck — they were a natural [fit]."
Cincinnati-based Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., is launching the service in four cities. ClusterTruck was founded in one of them — Indianapolis.
Kroger's Business Development Leader Ethan Grob says that his company is trying to capitalize on the larger industry trend of delivery-only restaurants.
"If you've been to a restaurant recently, you see third-party delivery people lining up to deliver these restaurant orders, which can take away from the in-store restaurant experience," Grob said. "Restaurants are increasingly looking to take that food preparation out of their main kitchens and into these ghost kitchens or dark kitchens."
And that's exactly what Kroger's found in ClusterTruck.
"We've built a profitable model by being vertically-integrated, and leveraging software and machine learning to control every aspect," Baggott said, citing ClusterTruck's drivers and food cooked in-house.
"We're really tied tight with Kroger on this," Baggott said of his Midwestern neighbor. "We're very invested in being successful with this together."
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