Ghost kitchen tech provider Kitchen United and Camile Food Group have partnered to bring Camile Thai, a delivery and takeout-only brand, to the U.S., according to a Monday (June 7) press release.
The brand, which focuses on sustainable, plant-based dishes, will be available only through Kitchen United MIX locations, beginning in Chicago, with plans to expand to Pasadena and Los Angeles, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and New York City later this year.
“The rise of the on-demand economy has driven a monumental shift in traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant service,” Camile Thai CEO Brody Sweeney said in the press release. “Last year saw the most significant adoption of technology in our industry’s history with volume digital food ordering and delivery at its core.”
Camile Thai currently has 40 locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland, according to the press release, serving over 10,000 meals every day.
“Restaurants have to start thinking of themselves as eCommerce businesses,” he said, adding “The difference between killing it and struggling can really come down to a brand’s online personality.”
Virtual, satellite locations can boost the long-term sustainability of a restaurant brand, as consumers continue to seek out omnichannel ordering, and may or may not want the sit-down experience. Plus, they offer restaurants a way to test new markets and concepts, while the lack of a dining room reduced the restaurant’s capital expenditure, PYMNTS has reported.
“We knew that the direction the restaurant industry was moving was all about accessibility,” James Walker, senior vice president of restaurants at Nathan’s Famous, recently told PYMNTS. “Drive-thrus and delivery and off-premises — you could just see the numbers escalating. And we said, we don’t want to jump on that train. We want to get there before the train.”