A trio of hospitality companies is vowing to revolutionise the industry with a “Netflix-style” approach towards food halls, dark kitchens and mobile delivery.
Hotel operator Accor Hotels, hospitality specialist SBE and real estate developer Simon have created C3 (short for Creating Culinary Communities), which they describe as a “first of its kind” incubator of limited service culinary brands.
They will initially target the US market, using Accor’s international hotel base of 5,000 global properties combined with Simon’s real estate footprint and SBE’s ability to build and grow successful F&B concepts.
Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of SBE, explained: “We are setting our sights on the future of how people choose to consume their food and are approaching food halls, ghost kitchens and mobile delivery in a unique fashion.
“I view C3 as the Netflix-equivalent of food and beverage as we focus on constantly creating culinary content that can be delivered to consumers via non-traditional distribution channels.
“C3 will be the first entity to bring single operator, multi-branded solutions to food halls, ghost kitchens and mobile delivery. Consumers will see the hallmarks of the SBE portfolio across C3: high quality, consistent and innovation-driven food brought to consumers through their preferred methods.”
Accor’s involvement will allow C3 to rethink the use of hotel real estate to play a significant role in the world of delivery, revolutionising the in-room dining experience and, in turn, growing the delivery footprint of the C3 brands.
C3 will be the first instance of a global lifestyle hospitality company entering into the ghost kitchen space, where it will take a different approach than other ghost kitchen models, according to the trio.
Rather than focusing solely on convenience, C3 will bring high quality food, created by the world’s leading chefs, directly to customers or through food halls.
All three partners think there is ample opportunity for ghost kitchens to occupy currently underutilised spaces in an innovative manner, such as existing kitchen facilities across the SBE and Accor networks.
Leading chefs Dani Garcia, Masaharu Morimoto, Dario Cecchini and Martin Heierling are among those already signed up to the platform.
Over the coming months, C3 will begin to launch its ghost kitchens, including 200 locations set to be in operation by the end of 2021.
C3 will also launch Citizens, its first major eatery, in New York City. The 40,000 square foot space will contain a curated collection of established and new proprietary culinary brands at two full-service restaurants, multiple bars and a fast-casual market hall.
Citizens will be powered by a 5,000 square foot ghost kitchen, one of the largest in New York, that will serve customers both at the food hall as well as through delivery.
Mr Nazarian added: “Using our strong, chef-driven culinary brands, we are re-imagining the traditional food hall to bring even better experiences and higher quality food to consumers with technology, sustainability and loyalty at the forefront of that thought process. We are going to bring culinary brands to the ghost kitchen concept, utilising existing kitchens across the SBE and Accor universe, as well as current Simon properties.”