Smarter Food Tech Solutions via Ghost Kitchens
This JustKitchen profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
The online food delivery industry saw unprecedented growth in 2020. With the advent of social distancing restrictions and COVID-19 measures, the convenience and flexibility of ghost kitchens to offer consumers new and exciting delivery-only food items continues to grow.
Food tech solutions like online food delivery and ghost kitchens (also known as virtual kitchens, dark kitchens, cloud kitchens, etc.) have been quickly evolving to meet the demands of an increasingly digitized and service-based world in recent years. Made to reduce operating and overhead expenses through optimized infrastructure and leveraging delivery-only models, ghost kitchen companies are shaking up the food scene and this could last well into the future.
JustKitchen (TSXV:JK) is a network of virtual kitchens that benefit from lower overhead and operating costs to achieve better economics than operating a dine-in restaurant. The company is focused on its Hub-and-Spoke operating model, which works to enable efficiency maximization and margins.
This Hub-and-Spoke operating model takes semi-prepared food from its full-scale commercial kitchens or “Hubs,” which then distribute them to “Spokes” for completion before delivery to end consumers.
JustKitchen also offers delivery-only meals under its own proprietary menus alongside established restaurant brands, including world-class Michelin star establishments. Having been largely unaffected by COVID-19, the success of JustKitchen in the Taiwanese food tech market demonstrates the company’s growth and success potential outside of social distancing conditions.
The company is headquartered and operates primarily in Taiwan, a renowned food tourist destination and mature food market. Being Taiwan-based strategically positions JustKitchen to leverage the country’s low overhead and operating costs and high market exposure, which includes a US$16 billion dining market and high-density consumer base.
The company has plans to expand to other geographic markets, like into neighbouring Asian countries and the United States, for example.
JustKitchen leverages data to create value, improve supply chain management and optimize menu creation. Through well-engineered software, the company works to proactively predict demand for better cost management and customer satisfaction.
The 2021-2022 target timeline includes plans to grow to two Hubs and 35 Spokes in Taiwan. Additionally, the company has several new revenue streams in the works, such as a proprietary meal ordering app and a customer loyalty/rewards program, among others.
The company’s other exciting project is the upcoming franchising of a ghost kitchen system. This would offer franchisees the opportunity to own their very own business on a turnkey basis for a modest level of investment. JustKitchen’s virtual kitchen franchise model, strength in supply chain and data integration could eventually position the company as a major global franchisor of choice for ghost kitchens and delivery-only food brands.
JustKitchen’s management team consists of experts in various related industries like capital markets, corporate development, e-commerce and logistics. Together, their combined years of experience and vested interest in project success primes the company for rapid growth and value creation for shareholders.
JustKitchen’s Company Highlights
- JustKitchen is a network of highly efficient “Hub-and-Spoke” commercial kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens, that allow delivery-only food items to reach more customers and avoid unnecessary overhead and operating costs.
- The company primarily operates in Taiwan but has plans in the near term to grow internationally into other markets, for example, in Asia and the US.
- JustKitchen uniquely offers delivery-only meals under its own proprietary menus as well as for established restaurant brands, including Michelin-level vendors.
- The company expects to launch a JustKitchen proprietary meal ordering app as part of its emerging technology channel in 2021. Its digitally-driven software solutions already leverage customer data to optimize supply chain management, menu creation and demand analytics.
- JustKitchen launched its proprietary Wow Chow brand and associated menu of fresh, delivery-only pet food for both dogs and cats
- The company entered into agreements to temporarily establish and operate three satellite ghost kitchen locations in the underutilized commercial kitchens within the Marriott’s Courtyard Taipei Downtown and the Madison Taipei hotels as well as in the Trader’s Society restaurant located in densely populated Shongshan District of Taipei City.
JustKitchen’s Hub-and-Spoke Model
This model provides semi-prepared food items to designated Spokes from Hubs for meal completion and delivery. The system works to extend JustKitchen’s geographic reach as compared to a traditional restaurant or food vendor, while also increasing the rate of food output and supplying local demand more quickly.
The tailored offerings vary based on price points, cuisine, brands and an evolving pipeline of food items. The robust diversity and selection offered to customers increases the scalability of JustKitchen, reduces delivery times and addresses gaps in the foodservice industry through digitally driven solutions and customer data analysis.
The company expects to roll out a proprietary meal delivery app in 2021. JustKitchen is also developing a value-added customer loyalty/reward program similar to other popular online food delivery apps like UberEats.
Jason Chen — Co-Founder, CEO, President & Director
Jason Chen is the vice-chairman of Bayshore Pacific Hospitality Limited and on the board of directors. Chen has over two decades of experience working internationally in the capital markets and private equity industries. He has extensive capital markets experience as the senior executive officer and managing directorship levels with several Canadian investment dealers.
Chen is also a managing director of a capital partnership corporation specializing in corporate financing in private and public sectors, with offices in Hong Kong and Vancouver, Canada. Also, Chen is actively overseeing his private investment holding company and has held executive and board positions with several public and private companies. He also holds a Juris Doctorate and degrees in economics and philosophy.
Kent Wu — COO & Director
Kent Wu is a seasoned entrepreneur with demonstrated excellence in e-commerce & logistics, strategic partnerships, digital marketing, team development and tech stack development. He is the founder and CEO of the e-commerce grocery platform Milk & Eggs, acquired in 2019 by National Strategic. He is also the co-founder of TAC City Airsoft, the largest airsoft arena company in Los Angeles, with two locations admitting more than 100,000 people per year.
Previously, Wu was the founder & CEO of online shooting sports equipment retailer Airsplat, which was acquired in 2016 and was named one of the 500 Largest Online Retailers by Internet Retailers, and one of the Largest Minority-Owned Businesses by LA Business Journal. He was also the founder and CEO of 2 Wheel Bikes, one of the fastest-growing online retailers of cycling equipment and accessories, acquired in 2014. He is currently the Managing Director of SKW Asset Holdings LLC, a real estate investment and management firm with US$20 million in assets under management.
Adam Kniec — CFO
Adam Kniec is an experienced CFO with over 20 years of CFO, senior management, accounting, auditing, financial reporting and regulatory compliance experience with Canadian and U.S. publicly listed companies. Currently, Kniec is the CFO of TSX Venture Exchange listed company Integrity Gaming Corp., a position he has held since October 2012. Previously, Kniec was the CFO of Petro Vista Energy Corp. from October 2007 to January 2019.
Mark Lin — CTO
Mark Lin was the founding member of InComm Taiwan Branch, an international gift card platform provider, before joining JustKitchen. Lin grew sales revenue from US$1 million to over US$15 million in three years. In his role, he managed all aspects of sales and operations. Lin’s expertise includes financial payment platform solutions, system integrations, business process analysis and international business development. Mr. Lin holds a B.S. in Operations Research from Columbia University.
Yang Liu — CSO
Yang Liu has over eight years of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry and ten years in the film and entertainment industry. Liu is an adjunct lecturer at Providence University (Taichung, Taiwan) in the Department of Mass Communication, teaching college-level courses in media and management.
He holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a double degree in Hospitality Business and East Asian Languages and Culture from Michigan State University.
John Yu — CMO
John Yu is a successful serial entrepreneur in the realm of consumer products and services. He began his career as a software engineer at a Fortune 500 company, working with Dell, Apple, and Sony. In 2005, he identified the outdated and frustrating process of buying diamond rings and seized the opportunity to start Taiwan’s first jewelry e-commerce site, ALUXE, disrupting the traditional industry to provide people a transparent, simple and joyful way to shop for and purchase engagement rings and wedding bands.
Yu is also the founder of two fast-growing e-commerce sites specializing in daily necessities and sports gear. He is currently a Director of TGI Friday’s, Texas Roadhouse, Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill, and Smith & Wollensky restaurants in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
*Disclaimer: This profile is sponsored by JustKitchen (TSXV:JK). This profile provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by JustKitchen in order to help investors learn more about the company. JustKitchen is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this profile.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with JustKitchen and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.