Invisible restaurant chain Keatz raises 12 million euros

Keatz's invisible restaurants, which don't have chairs or tables, have managed to get hold of a 12 million euro investment. The restaurants will soon be available near you – even though you won't see them.


Eight kitchens under one roof

German chain Keatz has already opened ten invisible restaurants in such cities as Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona and Munich: they're fully functional, but you can't order a table or even enter them. These so-called 'cloud kitchens' or virtual restaurants only work through meal delivery services such as Deliveroo and UberEats. They're kitchens and nothing more. 

A typical Keatz kitchen measures between 100 and 200 sqm, delivering meals within a radius of one to two kilometers. The meals are specifically developed for transportation and home delivery and the packaging is designed to keep the food warm, even if it's underway for more than fifteen minutes, according to co-founder Paul Gebhardt in TechCrunch. 

The meals that are prepared in the communal kitchens are released onto the market under eight different brand names. As a result, consumers can order both sushi and tacos on Takeaway at seemingly different restaurants without knowing that they were actually prepared in the same kitchen.


Made for home delivery

Thanks to a 12 million euro capital raise, Keatz will be rolling out its cloud kitchens in more cities and locations throughout Europe. In total, Keatz has already managed to raise 19 million euros of investment capital. The company also has big plans for the Benelux, as becomes apparent from the job vacancy for the position of 'managing director Benelux' .

"We believe the last unsolved part in food delivery is the preparation of food itself," Keatz co-founder Paul Gebhardt told TechCrunch. “Classic brick and mortar restaurants simply have a different business model, namely hospitality, which is all about the experience and location and the food is meant to be eaten immediately. Nobody at Nandos or Byron Burger designed the food keeping in mind that the food might travel on a Deliveroo bike for another 15 minutes, mostly upside down in a delivery bag.”

Gebhardt believes that in the future, kitchens will be heavily automated: "Our existing cloud kitchens today are already much more automated than traditional kitchens, from Wi-Fi-connected convection ovens to a software-supported food assembly process. At the end of the day, high-quality food preparation is an on-demand manufacturing problem: a customer orders a burrito on UberEats and expects a warm meal 20 minutes later. This is quite a technological challenge we are trying to solve."