1. What is the difference between a “Hub” kitchen and a “Spoke” kitchen?
JustKitchen has a unique “Hub and Spoke” operational model in which multiple “Hub” and “Spoke” commercial kitchens are strategically located throughout Taiwan, penetrating high-density urban areas. These kitchens prepare meals for delivery-only restaurants and food brands, as well as JustKitchen’s proprietary in-house food brands.
Hub Kitchens are larger commercial kitchens where meals are semi-prepared before being sent to Spoke Kitchens for final assembly. Typically, one Hub Kitchen supplies multiple Spoke Kitchens. This enables us to provide a fresh, high quality meal that exceeds customer’s expectations.
Spoke Kitchens are smaller facilities located in busy urban areas, where the final stages of meal preparation take place (heating / cooking, garnishing and packaging), before being delivered to the end consumer.Once a customer orders a meal through JustKitchen’s e-commerce platform or through one of our delivery partners’ apps, such as Uber Eats, the order is directed to the Spoke located nearest to the customer, where the semi-prepared order is finished and packaged. The meal is then picked up by one of our delivery partners and transported directly to the customer in a short amount of time – on average, 20 minutes or less.
2. What are the main advantages of JustKitchen’s model?
- Greater Customer Reach, Increased Sales Volumes
Our unique Hub-and-Spoke model enables us and our restaurant partners to serve more customers. Most restaurants and ghost kitchens have a delivery radius they will not travel outside of, due to the potential for orders arriving cold and / or the extra transportation cost eroding profit margins. By centrally locating our large Hubs and strategically locating our smaller Spokes in higher density areas of Taiwan, JustKitchen’s delivery radius is much greater, which means we can reach more customers.Further, most restaurants only operate during certain portions of the day, while JustKitchen can operate its Spokes independently of typical dine-in restaurant hours. This means our partner restaurants can reach more customers at unconventional hours of their typical operating day, while our customers get the food they want, when they want it, wherever they are.
- Faster Meal Prep and Delivery, Better Customer RetentionBecause only the final stages of meal preparation occur when a meal is ordered, and the meal is made at the Spoke closest to the customer, the time it takes to complete each order and deliver it to the customer is significantly reduced. Therefore, JustKitchen’s food output is higher, while meals arrive at the customer’s door faster, hotter and fresher.
Restaurant partners can rest assured that the quality of their brand(s) won’t be sacrificed by slow delivery times, but rather will be enhanced by our unique operating model. Meanwhile, customers are more likely to enjoy meals that arrive hot, fresh and fast – and become returning customers as a result.
- Higher Profit Margins, Reduced Food Waste
By adopting the delivery-only restaurant model, our partners benefit from reduced overhead costs associated with maintaining a dine-in restaurant, such as rent, electricity and front-of-house staff.Additionally, because JustKitchen’s Hub-and-Spoke model means reduced food preparation times and access to customers across more parts of Taiwan, restaurant partners can expect an increase in their sales volumes.
Finally, JustKitchen’s proprietary technology ecosystem captures and analyzes customer data in real-time, thereby allowing us to measure the popularity of food items and predict peak ordering times, which facilitates superior supply chain optimization and results in less food being wasted.
- Scalability with Less Risk
Launching a new restaurant, menu item, or food brand is risky when attempted within the traditional dine-in restaurant model. The launch of a new restaurant concept typically requires a considerable investment of time and capital, while customer feedback is not always easy to collect and measure. Additionally, a significant amount of time can pass before restaurants are able to determine whether a food concept is successful or not, during which time additional capital will continue to be spent.
JustKitchen’s technology captures and reveals invaluable insights into what customers are ordering, in which regions, at what times of the day. This not only enables us and our partners to better manage the supply chain and reduce food waste, as noted above, but it also allows our partners to test new menu items and concepts quickly and with less risk. New menu items and brands can be launched easily via our e-commerce platform and partner apps and customers’ purchase information and feedback can be tracked and evaluated instantly to determine an item’s level of success.
Our model also allows restaurants to scale up their operations and target new demographics, without the additional costs of opening a new physical location.
3. Does JustKitchen own any delivery-only restaurant brands?
JustKitchen owns several proprietary, delivery-only brands that cover a wide variety of cuisines and lifestyle choices. These brands, which are available to customers through our own e-commerce platform as well as via our delivery partners, currently include:
- Hot Ones – spicy fried chicken
- BodyFit – ready-made meals for the health-conscious consumer
- BodyFit Breakfast – ready-made healthy breakfast meals
- Just Chicken – serving a wide variety of marinated chicken wings and side dishes
- Thai High – serving healthy Thai cuisine in bento boxes
- LuWei Lab – a variety of Chinese noodle bowls
- Bit Beef Noodle – Asian beef noodle broth
- Boba Mania – Taiwanese bubble tea
- Go Lean – healthy bento boxes developed by a nutritionist, catering to specific dietary needs
- K Bao – Taiwanese Gua Bao (pork belly buns), filled with a variety of ingredients
- Unadon – Japanese curry rice and eel rice bento boxes
- SiChuan Beef Noodle – healthy beef noodle broth (spicy)
- Burgers & Dogs – a variety of beef sliders and hot dogs with various toppings
- Old Brew Soup Noodle Shop – a variety of noodle-based soups featuring braised, spiced and marinated meats
- Craftsman’s Soul-Made Ramen and Donburi – Japanese style ramen noodles and donburi rice meals
- JustKitchen “Party Room” – a combination of menu items from JustKitchen’s in-house brands
4. What is JustMarket?
JustMarket is JustKitchen’s online grocery delivery platform, which sells artisanal food items from our own in-house food brands as well as grocery items from our third-party partners. For example, JustMarket sells marinated chicken breasts from JustKitchen’s own BodyFit brand, as well as top quality marinated steaks from our third party partner, the upscale American steakhouse chain Smith & Wollensky. These grocery items and others can be ordered on their own via the JustMarket e-commerce platform or added on to meal orders placed on JustKitchen, which are then delivered directly to customers via our third-party delivery partners.
5. When was JustKitchen established, and who founded it?
JustKitchen was established in Taipei, Taiwan in 2019 by Jason Chen, President and CEO. Mr. Chen is the founder of the successful restaurant franchise operator Bayshore Pacific Hospitality Ltd., established in 2013. Bayshore Pacific is responsible for the successful launch and expansion of several international chains in Taiwan, including TGI Fridays, Smith & Wollensky, Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill, and Texas Roadhouse. Today, Bayshore Pacific Hospitality has a combined annual revenue of more than US $100 million, with 28 restaurants and 1,300 employees.
6. Why did JustKitchen launch in Taiwan?
Taiwan is a densely populated country (ranked 17th in the world), with 23,476,640 people living on an island that is just 36,193 square kilometers in size¹. Taiwan’s average population density is 649 people per square kilometre¹, but it is much higher in urban areas – for example in Taipei, where the population density jumps to 10,000 people per square kilometre¹.
Taiwan’s high population density means that traffic is heavy, especially during peak times. So, travelling to a restaurant for a meal can be an unappealing and time-consuming task for many residents of Taiwan – especially young professionals who tend to work long hours. For these reasons, people increasingly prefer to have meals delivered to them. In Taiwan, 43% of people order food an average of 2-4 times per week², which accounts for 1.1 – 1.2 billion meals per year.In addition, Taiwan already has an established food and beverage industry, and is home to many world-renowned, Michelin star restaurants and celebrity chefs. Taiwan’s dining market is estimated to be worth US$16 Billion and has grown steadily for the past 17 consecutive years.
Finally, Taiwan offers relatively low overhead and operating costs relative to other countries with a similarly high population density.
1 – UN World Population Prospectus (2019 Revision)
2 – 1111 Job Bank, 2019
7. Will JustKitchen expand beyond Taiwan?
Yes, JustKitchen announced the opening of its first location in Hong Kong in May 2021, and is currently exploring options to expand throughout the Asia Pacific region and North America in 2021/2022.
8. What is JustKitchen doing to reduce the negative impact of takeout food packaging?
JustKitchen uses eco-conscious packaging that can be recycled or composted, for example, our packaging includes recyclable paper cups and compostable bento boxes.
9. How does JustKitchen’s proprietary technology help to streamline its operations and reduce food wastage?
All inventory and raw ingredients are tracked through an in-house Material Requirements Planning (MRP) / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, down to the individual ingredient. This data is automatically incorporated into our database analysis stack, where it is used to accurately calculate and project future inventory demand requirements. It also feeds back into our purchasing system for procurement. Especially with seasonal variations in consumption and production due to farming, this system helps to keep track of what and when products will be needed, and helps prevent food overages / waste.