Singapore-based foodtech company TiffinLabs has acquired access to more than 1,000 kitchens across the U.S., Europe and Asia, which it intends to use for a new network of smart kitchens, according to a press release.
TiffinLabs opened in early 2019 and is operating some kitchens in Singapore, including digital-first restaurant brands Publico Pastabar and Hureideu - Korean Fried Chicken. Singapore Makan, which will showcase "the best of Singapore cuisine to the world," is slated to be opened soon, the release states.
Now, Tiffin Labs wants to expand to the U.S. and Europe.
The first U.S. kitchens are slated to open in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Austin, according to the release, and will offer a selection of food from TiffinLabs' digital-first restaurant brands. They're expected to begin opening by the last quarter of this year.
To get to that point, the company has been spending its time researching the U.S. market and assessing what needed to be done in terms of building demand and a network for supply, along with selecting the locations.
According to the release, TiffinLabs' artificial intelligence (AI)-driven models will be able to reach as many as 15 million households. The project will also use data analytics to look at food preferences and trends in various areas.
TiffinLabs Founder and Chairman Kishin RK said in the release that the company has studied "cuisine gaps, demand opportunities and innovation partnerships that will bring the American consumer a new experience in food delivery.”
"What customers get when they order food for delivery is dramatically different from a dine-in experience," he said, according to the release. "By enabling over 1,000 kitchens for delivery-focused operations globally, we are making food ordering relevant for the future, at scale. In the next three years we see two very different winners in this space — the local niche specialty cuisine player that can create value through distinction for a specific segment of the market, and global delivery businesses which will scale brands and menus with suppliers and delivery platforms and invest in innovation specifically to create food for delivery, reinventing customers' experience of in-home dining."
The idea of smart kitchens, which are also called cloud kitchens or ghost kitchens, in which food is made for delivery, seem to be hitting a stride during the pandemic as people rely more on food delivery services, although the reopening of restaurants could complicate the trajectory.