C3 and Graduate Hotels launch digital kitchen concept


US: Food and beverage platform C3 and hotel collection Graduate Hotels have partnered to launch Graduate Food Hall in Q1 2021, a delivery-focused hybrid digital kitchen.

The concept will debut within select Graduate properties, which are located in university markets across the United States, with plans to roll out to a majority of Graduate locations by the end of the year.

C3 will assume daily operations of all on premise food services. Hotel kitchens within Graduate properties will therefore be converted into a multi-brand digital kitchen, bringing together up to six of C3’s food brands including Umami Burger, Krispy Rice and Sam’s Crispy Chicken.

This digital model will allow Graduate Hotels to offer an array of cuisines in one place. Customers can choose from a variety of different menus in one single order.  

Graduate Food Hall will feature dine-in options within Graduate Hotels’ lobbies, as well as offer delivery and takeaway options. In the next phase of development, orders can be placed via C3’s soon-to-launch delivery app.

Sam Nazarian, founder of C3, said: “The partnership between C3 and Graduate will set the precedent for the future of hotel dining. This setup not only supports and supplements in-room hotel dining and on-site catering, it also streamlines the ordering process and extends the hotel’s reach within the local community. One of the easiest ways for hotels to connect with locals is through food and with Graduate Food Hall, we’re making a selection of C3’s most popular restaurant brands available at their fingertips. At the same time, our digital kitchens are driving supplemental revenue streams back to our hotel partners, making this a win-win for the hotels and the communities they serve.”

Ben Weprin, Graduate Hotels CEO, added: “We’re thrilled to partner with our friends at C3 and bring this innovative new dining experience to some of our Graduate communities across the country. This year has presented both immense challenges and opportunities for our industry, and we have taken these moments to pause, reassess and evolve our offerings in order to best serve guests, students and locals. With Graduate Food Hall, we’re providing some exciting options and epicurean experiences, but also an incredibly streamlined and convenient approach that reflects today’s market.”

Graduate Hotels launched in 2014 and currently has 28 hotels across the US. The brand is soon to debut in Europe with two UK locations: Oxford in spring 2021, and Cambridge this summer. Graduate has an additional eight hotels set to open by the end of 2022.

C3 launched 18 months ago and implements a digital kitchen approach to food service. The company has 200 digital kitchens and eight brands already established by the year-end 2020, which includes brands such as Plant Nation and EllaMia. 

BHN news editor Eloise Hanson predicted that hotels will begin to implement a dark kitchen or digital kitchen concept in 2021. You can read more about her predicted trends here

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