Walid Hajj, recognised food and beverage (F&B) industry leader, founder of Cravia and the driving force behind its success story, together with co-founder Fahad Alhokair, a Saudi entrepreneur and founder of Veda Holding, a company that focuses on start-ups in tech, retail, real estate, logistics and now F&B, has officially launched the region’s first hybrid, delivery-focused, cloud kitchen and premium store-front operator, Kitch, in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Kitch, a brand-name coined to represent two important aspects of the business – kitchen and technology, makes its foray into the F&B sector with privately raised capital of $15 million. The tech-integrated, virtual restaurants and brick-and-mortar facilities of Kitch will offer brands state-of-the-art avenues to enter new markets as well as provide an option to diversify and scale their food delivery and customer engagement with minimal investment.
The F&B industry is critical to the cultural vivacity of a city and a major driver of the economy, and Kitch will bring a portfolio of exciting brands and innovative culinary offerings. It will offer an exclusive mix of new and existing brands in the region in addition to international franchises. The team will also test new restaurant concepts, menu items, and seasonal brands to deliver a differentiated customer experience.
Launching first in key markets such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the vertically integrated, hybrid food-tech start-up is set to open four delivery kitchens in Riyadh within the first quarter of 2021 and additional 15 kitchens across the GCC in the rest of the year. Each delivery kitchen is spread over 450m2 to 500m2 and is fully equipped to house around 10 food concepts.
Kitch will be delivering world-class infrastructure and expertise, enabling food concept owners to enter, adapt and thrive in this new environment while building its reputation as the world’s best delivery-focused franchise operator. The hybrid model will utilise all the operational efficiencies of the cloud kitchen business model as well as provide access to prime locations to set-up and expand the franchise presence.
Walid Hajj, co-founder and CEO of Kitch, said: “We are thrilled to launch the region’s first hybrid cloud-kitchen and premium store-front operator Kitch. Saudi Arabia and the UAE offer huge potential for this concept, and we are looking to be a part of an industry valued at over $3 billion. With my experience in the food and beverage industry for more than two decades, I believe it is important to adapt and transform the offerings and services to be relevant and meet future demands.
“Our operational value-chain model and carefully curated portfolio of brands will reimagine the restaurant experience, allowing consumers to enjoy high-quality food from the comfort and convenience of their homes, and at the same time provide food concept owners a platform to explore the market and increase their customer base beyond their physical locations. If a brand is part of our portfolio, we will make sure there is a scalable market ready for it.”
Fahad Alhokair, co-founder of Kitch, said: “I am excited to join hands with Walid to embark on this new decade of F&B innovation and transformation. The food and beverages industry is ever-evolving, and it has become more apparent this year. We are constantly on the lookout for new investment opportunities, and we see a strong growth potential and bright future in the hybrid cloud-kitchen model of Kitch in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE. We are looking to feature a diverse set of concepts to meet the changing trends and demographics that affect the F&B industry. Whether you are an entrepreneur thinking of opening your first food concept or an F&B leader who is looking to expand, Kitch’s flexible hybrid model will help you meet your purpose.”
Kitch’s experienced team of professional F&B operators, brand strategists, and technology specialists led by Chief Operating Officer, Yousef Al Barqawi will guide interested food concept owners, step by step towards launching a successful brand into the markets. The omnichannel cloud kitchen framework offers an unparalleled advantage to entrepreneurs as they can test the waters of their food concept without making a full commitment.
Kitch is the brainchild of Walid Hajj and Fahad Al Hokair’s mission to be at the forefront of food innovation and take the kitchen in the cloud concept to the next level through a more flexible, hybrid cloud approach. The operator aims to achieve operational excellence and set industry benchmarks by offering an integrated, next-generation model that focuses on quality over quantity.