- Kroger is building “dark” kitchens with an Indianapolis startup called ClusterTruck.
- Kroger says the kitchens will prepare and deliver restaurant-style meals without charging any service or delivery fees.
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Kroger is getting into the meal-delivery business.
The nation’s largest traditional grocer said on Monday that it had partnered with an Indianapolis startup called ClusterTruck to open delivery-only kitchens, also known as “dark” or “ghost” kitchens, in Indianapolis, Columbus, and Denver.
Here’s what we know about the new concept, called Kroger Delivery Kitchen.
The kitchens will prepare and deliver restaurant-style meals and “change the way Americans access freshly prepared meals,” Kroger said in a news release.
“The way our customers order and receive meals is evolving, and ClusterTruck’s innovative culinary and digital design is cracking the code for the future of profitable meal delivery,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief information officer.
Kroger said it would not charge delivery or service fees, making it cheaper than other delivery options such as Uber Eats.
“Kroger Delivery Kitchen Powered by ClusterTruck will allow our customers to access restaurant-quality fresh and delicious meals like never before and without having to pay excessive service or delivery fees,” Cosset said.
ClusterTruck software uses algorithms to optimize operations and ensure orders are delivered within seven minutes of preparation, Kroger said, adding that meals are delivered within 30 minutes of ordering, on average.
Kroger Delivery Kitchen customers can order from a varied menu featuring items such as pizza and pad thai.
Kroger and ClusterTruck have just four “dark” kitchens in operation in Carmel, Indiana; Indianapolis; Columbus; and Denver.
A Kroger spokeswoman said there’s potential for expansion beyond those cities.