When you go out to (or wind up at) a bar that doesn’t serve food, typically you have two options: go hungry or go somewhere else. This is the lose/lose scenario that 2ndKitchen is trying to fix by pairing businesses that don’t have a kitchen with nearby restaurants who want to outsource theirs.
Today, Chicago-based 2ndKitchen announced that it has raised $1.35 million in funding led by Hyde Park Ventures.
It’s expensive for a bar or brewery to add its own kitchen facilities, so 2ndKitchen creates what could almost be considered a virtual food court. It connects a bar (or other business without a kitchen) with restaurants that are within walking or biking distance to curate a menu of items. Customers can order from this mini-menu via kiosks in the kitchenless establishment or a mobile phone app with the food delivered straight to their table.
This symbiotic relationship between a bar and nearby restaurant isn’t new. One of my favorite bars in California let you order food from the restaurant next door. But what is new is the automation of it all, streamlining the ordering and delivery via your phone or kiosk. 2ndKitchen manages menu, payments, delivery and customer support so the bar doesn’t have to, and creates (theoretically, we haven’t tried it yet) a win/win for the bar and restaurants by giving customers a reason to stay at that bar and the participating restaurant new business.
Right now, 2ndKitchen operates in the midwest and has been working with bars and breweries, but is expanding to help any business without a kitchen (hotels, office buildings, campuses, etc.).