- Pasha Mehran, Uber Eats' former head of dark kitchens, has joined C3 as chief strategy officer, C3 announced Monday.
- Mehran will oversee partnerships with celebrity chef-driven restaurants, ghost kitchen partners, culinary markets and digital creators in the hopes of attracting Gen Z and millennial attention. He also plans to grow C3's reach in suburban markets and improve its supply chain.
- Mehran's strategy should support Creator Court, the company's division dedicated to developing new virtual restaurant brands with popular digital creators, YouTubers and gamers. The division has also partnered with Sofia Vergara's Latin World Entertainment.
Mehran joins C3's executive team as the company diversifies its service channels with the goal of "turning the brand into a household name," according to the press release. To achieve this, the platform is bolstering its digital reach through new partnerships and expanding into the brick-and-mortar sector.
In October, the company opened Citizens New York, its first physical location, in Manhattan. The concept includes two full-service restaurants and 13 digital kiosks, will feature a roster of celebrity chefs and has a kitchen that can cook food for C3's 40-plus restaurant brands. C3 also plans to open a 24,000-square-foot food hall in Atlanta this year, along with brick-and-mortar locations in Miami, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia and California.
On the digital front, C3 has rapidly grown its restaurant partner network through deals with TGI Fridays, Chowly and Reef Technology — the latter of which will bring C3 brands into 800 of its kitchens by the end of 2025.
"I am excited to accelerate the growth of C3's brands through a series of opportunistic acquisitions, marquee partnerships, and strategic joint ventures," Mehran said in the release.
As of now, C3 has created over 800 digital brand outposts throughout the country and has an expansion pipeline of over 1,000 units.
To support this growth, the company hired 3,500 employees across the U.S. last year and expects to hire another 5,000 employees domestically and abroad to support is offices in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Mehran's expertise could help C3 better compete with rivals. But its growth strategy isn't unique in the ghost kitchen space — Kitchen United has also begun teaming with retailers like Kroger to open physical units, and has added kiosk ordering and outdoor dining areas to its existing locations.