Sam Nazarian buys Kitchen United IP, forms new virtual brand platform

Dive Brief:

  • Sam Nazarian on Thursday acquired unspecified Kitchen United IP and ghost kitchen assets. He will combine these assets with C3, Nazarian’s food hall and virtual brand company, and the remnants of virtual brand platform Nextbite, to form a platform called Everybody Eats.
  • Everybody Eats was formed in December and is a “a 100% asset light IP and premium QSR and CPG Brand company,” per the press release. Nazarian, who is CEO of Everybody Eats, appointed Geoff Madding, former chief growth officer of Nextbite, as chief operations officer for the new platform.
  • Nazarian’s purchase of Kitchen United parts marks the final chapter of the firm’s ghost kitchen operations. The company raised $100 million in 2022 to fund its expansion, but in November, it announced it would sell or close all physical units to focus on its software.

Dive Insight:

Everybody Eats is staking out ambitions comparable with the failed business forecasts of ghost kitchen pioneers. The press release states the platform will leverage “rapidly evolving customer preferences through use of technology, AI, use of retail space and the expansion into CPG, supermarkets, convenience, casual dining, education, hospitality, limited service hotels all within the brand amplification platform.”

The new company will target growth markets including millennial, Gen Z and LatinX demographics with “chef-driven concepts; brands created and powered by celebrities; and high-quality restaurants and brands” — tactics also employed by Kitchen United and Nextbite before the brands imploded and were snapped up by Nazarian.

According to Nazarian, Nextbite and Kitchen United failed to transform restaurants because of cash shortages at both firms. 

“These companies have had incredible ideas and unbelievable instincts but just not enough capital to ultimately disrupt the market,” Nazarian said in the press release. “Everybody Eats is the solution; we have created an all-encompassing platform built upon the ideas of the three best thought-leaders in the industry.”

Everybody Eats didn’t immediately respond to a request to clarify the platform’s operations and what makes its strategy and technology uniquely competitive. 

Nazarian’s C3 brand has seen its own challenges and strategy pivots, including a brief emphasis on food halls. The performance of its virtual brand business is fairly opaque — In 2022, C3’s virtual brand partnership with TGI Fridays yielded just $120,000 in revenue for C3. While Fridays said it would begin serving C3’s brands from 140 stores last fall, the executive who called that deal “the beginning of an innovative approach to building our brand,” stepped down less than two weeks later.


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