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Local Kitchens: Redefining the Restaurant

Bracha Arnold
July 6, 2023
Local Kitchens: Redefining the Restaurant

Local Kitchens is ready to shake things up. Located in the heart of California’s thriving tech scene, this food hall seeks to blend technology and food under one roof. Diners have embraced the concept, and the company has doubled its presence over the past year. We dove into the location analytics for the chain to understand what is driving visits. 

Visits & Visits Per Venue Highlight Company Strength

Local Kitchens, established in 2020, offers a unique franchise-like concept to local restaurants. The restaurant choosing to set up shop under the Local Kitchen umbrella trains Local Kitchen staff on the menu, enabling them to expand reach without the challenges involved in a traditional franchise model. Meanwhile, customers get to try food from six to eight different restaurants, all while ordering from one point of service, which streamlines the process and offers a new take on the popular food hall concept.  

This approach has been met with enthusiasm, evident from the triple-digit year-over-year growth in monthly visits to the chain. And visits per venue have also remained remarkably high – all while the chain rapidly expands. In May 2023, visits to Local Kitchens increased by 185.3% compared to the same month in 2022, while visits per venue grew by 55.6%. 

The ability to keep both foot traffic and visits per venue high while expanding its footprint suggests that Local Kitchens has found its stride with its customers. 

The Path to Local Kitchens

The customers who have been embracing the concept are part of a new target audience that more and more retailers are focusing on – hybrid workers who find themselves in the suburbs most of the week. And Local Kitchens is more than aware of this consumer segment – the concept was founded with the goal of bringing high-quality dining experiences to suburban areas

And zooming into the top prior and post destinations for visitors to Local Kitchens suggests that this approach is paying off. Between 11 AM to 3 PM, all five of the top-performing locations, including Palo Alto – one of the most prominent tech hubs in Silicon Valley – saw  a significant share of their visitors either coming from or returning home. Palo Alto had the highest share of visitors coming from home at 63.3%, perhaps spurred by the popularity of remote work in the area. And the other four locations also had home as the top prior and post locations, suggesting that people are coming to grab something quick and delicious to eat during their at-home workday.

Income and Appetite

Analyzing residents of five Local Kitchens trade areas reveals that the dining destinations tend to be in areas where the median household income (HHI) is higher than the state average. This suggests that the company has tapped into a customer base willing to spend a bit of money for a quality dining experience. And though the median HHI for Local Kitchen’s Davis location was notably lower than the other four – $54,248.72 – the local student population at UC Davis likely influenced the HHI dynamics. 

Cuisine and Convenience Converge

As it continues to expand its footprint and cater to the needs of hybrid workers seeking quality dining experiences, Local Kitchens is poised to continue redefining what a food hall can be, one bite at a time.

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