kaykroo, the largest cloud kitchen platform for virtual restaurants in the UAE, today announced the launch of its Entrepreneur Program, which will provide individual restaurants from across the globe a foothold into new markets. Starting with the broader region, the foodtech company headquartered in Dubai has secured exclusive partnerships with select establishments from Lebanon and Turkey, giving them the opportunity to exponentially scale their business. As part of its longer-term strategy, kaykroo will go on to explore additional collaborations in other international markets, such as Europe, the United States, and Asia.
The first cohort will include Beirut-based microdiner, Husk, known for its mouth-watering menu of burgers, sandwiches, and salads, and a fresh new concept from Lamb House, the Levantine institution that has been serving authentic and traditional fare for over 40 years. Joining them are another Beirut favorite, Lahmajun, and Istanbul’s Nelipide, who are bringing their delicious selection of oven-baked savory pies to UAE homes for the first time.
Entrepreneurs participating in the program will benefit from working with kaykroo’s team of innovation and technology experts to adapt their menus to a delivery model, from sourcing the most suitable local suppliers to developing purpose-fit operational manuals that will ensure scalability without compromising quality. Within just one month, customers will be able to experience these delicious new menus, prepared and delivered from one of kaykroo’s 15 full-service cloud kitchens across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Al Ain. In Q2 2021, kaykroo’s operations will expand to Saudi Arabia, with the planned opening of its first facility in Riyadh.
Jihad El-Eit, Founder & CEO of kaykroo, commented: “Part of our mission when we launched kaykroo was to bring international flavors to the UAE community. We’ve been doing that with our own brand portfolio, which covers a range of cuisines, but we now wanted to give restauranteurs, who have achieved success in their home markets, the same opportunity. This is especially important at a time when people aren’t able to travel as easily or frequently – being able to give them a taste of home, or something new and different, was a real priority for us.”
“This initiative has never been about simply franchising big food chains – we’re big believers in supporting fellow entrepreneurs. All the Programme participants are independent operators, who we selected for their passion and ability to create unique experiences,” Jihad explained.
kaykroo has already demonstrated its capabilities in evolving ‘brick & mortar’ dine-in restaurants into a ‘brick & click’ offering, with the digital transformation of its own concepts, including the hugely popular Man’oushe Street. The team will apply the same data-driven approach when guiding program participants in kick-starting their UAE operations.
Ramzi El Far, Founder & Managing Partner of Husk Beirut, said: “It’s taken us a long time to find the right partner to explore our growth beyond Lebanon. As a small business, we take pride in the experience we are creating for each customer, so it’s important that whoever we work with is equally invested in our success, and has the know-how to guide us in entering new markets. kaykroo’s tech capabilities and understanding of how to bring food brands to life reassured us that this was the right gateway for our expansion into the rest of the region, and hopefully one day, beyond.”
Aline Kamakian, Founder & CEO of Fig Holding SAL, the company behind Lahmajun, as well as Armenian classics Mayrig and Batchig, said: “All of our restaurants have been born from a love of Armenian food, and the desire to share this culinary heritage with the world. From this, we have built a legacy in Lebanon. 2020 was a challenging year, due to COVID-19 and the Beirut explosion, but one of the best decisions we have made was to maintain our resilience and bring our legacy to new communities. We are really looking forward to working with the kaykroo team to make this a reality, and help our brands continue to thrive.”
The launch of the Entrepreneur Program comes following the extension of kaykroo’s Pre-Series A funding round. In October 2020, the company announced it had raised $4 million, with an additional $3 mn bridge round closing this month. Based on current discussions with prospective restauranteurs, kaykroo aims to introduce 15 additional concepts as part of the Programme by the end of 2021.
kaykroo is a UAE-based macroscale cloud kitchen business. Led by a team that has been operating in the F&B industry for over a decade, the food-tech company has now become the largest marketplace for virtual restaurants in the country. The data-driven ‘brick & click’ platform is the crossroads where technology meets nourishment, modern meets traditional, creativity meets efficiency, and scalability meets profitability.
Launched in September 2020, the kaykroo team is comprised of more than 400 employees, including a delivery fleet of over 100 valets, and 15 cloud kitchens and brand residences across the UAE. The range of experiences offered by kaykroo currently include:
- Manou’she Street: the popular Middle Eastern restaurant that serves authentic Levantine food with a modern twist
- The Good Bowl: the eatery that brings you a range of nutritious and delicious salads with all-natural ingredients
- Bak Bak: the home of flavourful, satisfying chicken sandwiches and mouth-watering sides
- Wrapped: the concept that puts a variety of healthy wraps center-stage for lunch, dinner, or as a snack
- Fern El Balad: the neighborhood bakery specializing in over-baked goodness, from flatbreads and pies to pitas and pockets
- Hummus Brothers: the team that is mad about hummus and creatively incorporates this superfood into a range of irresistible bowls and wraps
- SoDo: the marriage between pizza and sourdough, with an irresistible variety of toppings
- The Vegan Table: the very best vegan comfort food to soothe your souls (non-vegans welcome!)
- Susuru: the aromatic bowls that invite you to slurp your choice of noodles, sauces, and toppings
- Seven Spisiz: the trip down memory lane that shares the delights of Middle Eastern kitchens and their plant-based, vegetarian roots
For more information and to stay up-to-date on the latest news announcements, please visit kaykroo.com.