2ndKitchen: The Only Kitchen You’ll Need
Get ready to order your favorite meal, no matter where you go out!
In the client-centered sphere of food tech, customers want to have more options on food choices when dining out, and venues want to meet these desires.
However, not every establishment has the needed resources to run a dedicated on-site kitchen and prepare food for its guests. So what are they to do?
This is precisely what 2ndKitchen aims to solve - developed by Arik Gaisler, Jonathan Elron and Nick Anastasiades - this company enables any venue to serve the food they want.
2ndKitchen effectively connects restaurants and kitchens with establishments without any food preparation equipment. Then, when a customer orders food, the kitchen simply delivers that order, which can be served as if it was prepared in-house. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Stay with us to discover what led three young men to shake up the food and delivery industry to the pleasure of the customers.
The Journey Starts From Afar
Arik Gaisler was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. He graduated with a BSc in Software Engineering in 2009. He stayed in Israel for several years after graduating, but his knowledge-hungry spirit pushed him to explore new grounds, leading Arik to move to New York.
Another Israeli-native mastermind is Jonathan Elron. For 3 whole years, Jonathan served as a Sargent in the Israeli Defence Forces until 2005. Then, Jonathan moved to the US to go to college - the Business program at the Berkley University of California is what drew Jonathan’s attention. Working hard on getting the knowledge he was after, Jonathan graduated in 2012. Pleased with what he had accomplished so far, Jonathan moved around the country working on various projects.
Finally, we have Nick Anastasiades, a young man of Lebanese descent. However, he immigrated to the US in 2008 to attend the University of California, Berkeley, and he graduated in 2012 with a BSc in Business Administration with a minor in Social Psychology.
Wanting to learn even more, Nick went to Northwestern University and earned himself an MBA and MS in Design Innovation, and Business Administration and Management. In 2018, Nick graduated in the top 10% of his class.
The Firsts Steps To Something Great
After graduating, Arik Gaisler started working as a Software Engineer. He joined a few companies in Tel Aviv, such as Optibase and Tvinci. Once he moved to America, Arik got employed at Kaltura first as a System Architect, but then got promoted to Senior Director of Product and eventually VP Technology.
Before moving to the US, Jonathan Elron lived in Costa Rica from 2006 to 2008. There he co-founded and managed Sea & Sun Residence, a real estate development project. After moving to the US to graduate, Jonathan got a job at L.E.K. Consulting, based in San Francisco. Starting at an associate’s position, it wasn’t long before he got promoted to Associate Consultant and used his prior experience to work on growth strategies.
While at college, Nick Anastasiades co-founded and acted as the editor-in-chief of Caliber Magazine, UC Berkeley’s bestselling lifestyle magazine. He was also a Technology Consulting intern at Protiviti. In 2009, Nick joined LLobe Design as a Creative Director. He managed the company for 9 years and got the valuable experience that would soon prove crucial.
Mutual Paths Leading to Innovation
During their studies at UC Berkeley, Nick and Jonathan met and stayed in touch long after graduating.
In early 2015, both Nick and Jonathan saw the potential of a food delivery service in the San Francisco area, so they founded RedPie. This project, dubbed the “Uber for pizza”, used a supply optimization model to deliver pizzas from local shops in record time. This was a popular idea but was too small of a niche. However, they soon collaborated on a different project.
Though RedPie did not take off, it wasn’t completely useless. The general idea of a food delivery service proved to have a promising future, they just had to change their scope. So, that's when they decided to use the prior experience and open 2ndKitchen.
Initially, the project was just a pilot in a bar in Evanston, a college suburb in Chicago. They simply put up a few menus without additional marketing. Interestingly, many customers started ordering the same day. The trial was a success and the team decided to dedicate their effort to the project.
Looking At The Bigger Picture
The founders describe 2ndKitchen as a data company because it connects the kitchenless venues with local restaurants that can prepare the food for them. It also helps venues design a menu that best serves their needs and assists them in the betterment of the delivery and the process of preparing orders.
From the patron's point of view, nothing really changes -customers look at the menu and order the food and drinks they want. The local kitchen then prepares the food and delivers it to be served as if made in-house.
However, 2ndKitchen does so much more - it also processes payments and fulfillments and offers customer support. Finally, it can deliver food to restaurants that lack the means to do so.
The best part is that 2ndKitchen doesn’t charge any signup or maintenance fee, and it simply compensates with a small fee for every order fulfilled. This is great for the kitchenless venues as they don’t have to invest in expensive facilities, and the restaurants also get to expand their client lists.
Investing in the Future
2ndKitchen has had 3 funding rounds. The pre-seed round took place in July 2018, and 2 subsequent rounds of seed funding happened in February and November of 2019. Nick, Jonathan, and Arik’s company managed to boost its finances to a not-so-shabby sum of about $4.4 million from these rounds.
2ndKitchen attracted the attention of 8 investors in total, and the most recent ones include M25 and Bragiel Brothers. The lead investor for 2ndKitchen is Hyde Park Venture Partners, a company that started funding 2ndKitchen during the seed round in February 2019.
Because 2ndKitchen was adamant about staying in the hospitality business, it meant that Nick, Jonathan, and Arik were bound to face the competition coming from companies like GrubHub, DoorDash, and Instacart, among others.
Although 2ndKitchen wasn’t a groundbreaking idea, it still attracted a lot of customers mainly because of the innovation behind the services offered.
Today, Nick is the co-founder and CEO of 2ndKitchen, while Arik is the co-founder and CTO and Jonathan is the third co-founder and COO of 2ndKitchen.
A Smooth Ride for 2ndKitchen
2ndKitchen has certainly grown a lot since 2017; however, the company is still based and operating in Chicago. Around 20 full-time employees are working for the company, making sure the brand does its best.
2ndKitchen became so successful that the company was acquired by REEF in early December 2021, and has been operating under the REEF brand since then.
As the company grows, it is attracting more and more customers and partners. 2ndKitchen aims at connecting more types of establishments, not just bars and hotels. So it has started working with comedy theaters, bowling alleys, and many other venues, which expanded the line of business and the revenue.
As for what the future holds, the acquisition by REEF has been a considerable boost, and this has allowed 2ndKitchen to expand its proven concept to even more places around the world.
It probably won’t be long before the household names of the hospitality industry make 2ndKitchen their primary kitchen.