Independent restaurant owners may be doomed, and perhaps grocery stores, too.
Such is the conclusion of a growing chorus of observers who’ve been closely watching a new and powerful trend gain strength: that of cloud kitchens, or fully equipped shared spaces for restaurant owners, most of them quick-serve operations.
While viewed peripherally as an interesting and, for some companies, lucrative development, the movement may well transform our lives in ways that enrich a small set of companies while zapping jobs and otherwise taking a toll on our neighborhoods. Renowned VC Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital seemed to warn about this very thing in a Financial Times column that appeared last month, titled “The cloud kitchen brews a storm for local restaurants.”
Moritz begins by pointing to the runaway success of Deliveroo, the London-based delivery service that relies on low-paid, self-employed delivery riders who deliver local restaurant food to customers — including from shared kitchens that Deliveroo itself operates, including in London and Paris.
He believes that Amazon’s recent investment in the company “might just foreshadow the day when the company, once just known as the world’s largest bookseller, also becomes the world’s largest restaurant company.”
That’s bad news for people who …read more
Source: Tech Crunch