- C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) has launched a partnership with serviced apartment operator Akara Living to integrate ghost kitchens in Kenect, one of Akara Living's serviced apartment communities, according to a press release.
- C3 kitchens will open this summer at Kenect properties in Nashville and Phoenix and will be included in all future Kenect developments. C3 will oversee the daily front-of-house and back-of-house operations for the onsite dining venues, which will include up to seven of its 15 restaurant brands and Kenect's lobby cafes. C3 will also manage delivery logistics for residents, as well as social and club members and the surrounding community.
- The deal will mark the first time residential properties will utilize in-house ghost kitchens to offer residents dining options, the release says.
Through this partnership, C3 will be able to easily expand into Denver, Miami, Cleveland, Minneapolis and other urban markets across the country following Kenect's plans for growth. C3 currently has more than 250 digital kitchens across the U.S., so it has the expertise to lead the operations and logistics behind this launch. The company is also launching a Citizens Go app this year to help facilitate its delivery orders, according to the press release.
These ghost kitchens will deliver to not just Kenect's residents but also those in the surrounding area, which significantly expands the potential consumer base as the properties are located in heavily populated cities. Kenect's properties include underutilized real estate spaces, which is also a good opportunity for C3 to leverage to generate traffic and revenue.
Given the growth of ghost kitchens into spaces like grocery stores, such as Walmart and Kroger, and shopping malls, an expansion into an apartment community doesn't seem so unusual. It also showcases the flexibility of a ghost kitchen model. An apartment location offers a captive audience thanks to tenants.
For example, Kenect's properties include nearly 1,000 beds with another 2,500 in the pipeline. These sites also complement the "lifestyle" concept of Kenect, which offers 24-hour amenities. Those amenities include fitness classes, onsite retail and food provided by C3 brands.
Ghost kitchens have been on a steep growth trajectory, accelerated by the pandemic. Euromonitor estimates ghost kitchens could create a $1 trillion global market by 2030. This growth has been facilitated by more brands, like Saladworks, Applebee's, Panda Express, Wingstop and Wendy's expanding the model.