Earlier, Panda Selected (熊猫星厨) completes USD 50 million series C funding at a valuation of around USD 300 million. This round of funding was led by Tiger Global Management and will be mainly used to expand sharing kitchens to more cities and develop more additional services to better serve its business customers.
Now, it has more than 100 kitchens in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen. Each kitchen is around 400 to 500 square meters and can fit 15 to 20 restaurants.
Like WeWork for Kitchen?
Panda Selected is a Beijing based kitchen sharing company, founded in 2016.
Kitchens provided by Panda Selected will be shared among different restaurants. Other than space, supplies, and marketing can also be provided. It now collaborates with more than 500 dining brands including leading ones like Hai Di Lao (海底捞), Luckin Coffee, Han Na Shan (汉拿山) etc. Among collaborated brands, 30% of them are new or creative brands and the rest are mature brands covering traditional Chinese food, light meals, snacks, seafood etc.
For restaurants, the obvious reason for restaurants to join the sharing kitchen space is to lower overhead costs and improve operational efficiency. Moreover, it could let dining brands focus more on their core business.
Under Panda Selected’s business model, its revenues are made from monthly fees from renting space and additional charges for providing extra services such as data analytics and marketing to boost restaurants’ sales on delivery platform Meituan and Ele.me.
Panda Selected is currently running at a loss. LI Haipeng (李海鹏), the founder of Panda Selected, reckons it takes time for the kitchen sharing business model to get mature and be profitable. He will emphasize more on revenue from additional service charges instead of space renting.
Domestic and International Rivals
The following are some shared kitchen businesses examples:
Ji Ke Alliance （吉刻联盟）- the first shared kitchen brand in China
A shanghai startup, founded in 2015.
It aims at providing a whole range of solutions for online dining brands from space to daily operations. While its main revenues are from monthly rents.
SHI Xiaoming (史晓明), the founder of Ji Ke Alliance, previously has worked for Hai Di Lao. Many of its core members are from Hai Di Lao, Meituan, Ele.me. and Xiao Nan Guo (小南国), a popular restaurant serving Shanghai food.
It shows on its website that it has collaborated with 200 brands and has reached out to brands including Luckin Coffee, Man Ling Gruel Store (the bestselling gruel store in China), Xiao Nan Guo etc.
It claims its daily order number is around 50 thousand.
In 2018, it completes its series A funding of several million (CNY). The exact figure has not been disclosed.
CloudKitchen - founded by Kalanick
After being ousted from Uber, Travis Kalanick also started a kitchen sharing business - CloudKitchens. This time, he partnered with ZHANG Yanqi (张严琪) who previously worked both for Uber (as regional manager) and Ofo (as COO), a Chinese bike sharing company.
It features no "dine-in" and delivery only. Food prepared in CloudKitchen will be distributed via Uber Eats, Postmates, or Grubhub etc.
It is looking for an opportunity to expand presence in China, according to the South China Morning Post.
Why Invest in Kitchen Sharing Business
According to iYiou, China's total foodservice market worth CNY 4 trillion (USD 595 billion) in 2017. In the same year, the market size for online delivery food is around CNY 300 billion (USD 45 billion).
Although online delivery only takes less than 1% of the total foodservice market. However, it is growing rapidly.
The blooming food delivery business in China could possibly boost the demand for renting kitchens instead of a complete restaurant site.