Photo: Chris Albrecht.

Kitchen United (KU) is making good on its promise to open multiple new locations over the course of 2019. The company announced another expansion today, this time for new locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as a second spot in Chicago.

KU launched in 2017 with the aim to provide extra kitchen space for restaurants needing to fulfill off-premises (delivery) orders. The first KU location, in Pasadena, California, holds enough space for 15 restaurants to use. Other locations are similar in size.

Whereas some ghost kitchens exist to let restaurants or entrepreneurs try out new concepts and brands they might not have otherwise brought to market, Kitchen United is specifically aimed at helping existing restaurants manage the extra volume in orders created by delivery.

And the demand for delivery grows, we can expect to see more of these so-called ghost kitchens, from Kitchen United and others. The market for online food delivery is projected to be $30 billion by 2022 — and that’s just for the U.S.

Various iterations of the ghost kitchen have been popping up in response, and raising some hefty funds. Berlin-based company Keatz recently raised €12 million (~$13.6 million USD) for its virtual-kitchen network that operates around Europe. Uber is dabbling with its own ghost kitchens in Paris. Uber’s former CEO, Travis Kalanick, now runs a cloud kitchen company in Los Angeles.

Kitchen United, meanwhile, has expanded from the original Pasadena, CA location to Chicago’s River North neighborhood, and has already announced plans to open new centers in Atlanta, Scottsdale, AZ, Austin, TX, and Columbus, OH in 2019. (These are currently under construction.) A quick look at the expansion map on the KU site reveals that Houston, Dallas, NYC, and Washington, D.C. are also in the works for 2019.

According to the press release, the new LA, SF, and Chicago locations are in the process of accepting restaurant partners. Each will house between 10 and 15 restaurant brands.

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