// Asda invests in digital food-for-now start up Lean Kitchen Network to trial new digital food kiosks at four stores
// The announcement follows the successful launch of the House of Yum café concept at the Asda store in Clapham
Asda has made an investment in digital food-for-now start up Lean Kitchen Network to mark the next step in its partnership strategy and broadening its food service offering.
The Big 4 grocer confirmed today that it invested in Lean Kitchen Network (LKN) alongside hospitality expert investor Edition Capital, preceding a larger Series A round of funding in the digital food specialist later this year.
In addition to its investment, Asda said it would also partner exclusively with LKN to trial tech-driven food-for-now counters, initially in four London stores: Park Royal, Colindale, Bexley and Edmonton.
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Customers at those Asda stores will be able to order food at LKN’s touch-screen kiosk or on their mobile phone by scanning a QR code, and can wait for it to be made in the store’s kitchen or collect their order at the end of their shop.
The counters will also offer orders for delivery via Uber Eats.
The announcement follows the successful launch of the House of Yum café concept at the Asda store in Clapham, London, last December, where customers can use a QR code to order or place an order for rapid delivery via Uber Eats.
House of Yum is part of Asda’s “test and learn” partnership strategy, which sees it partner with category experts and popular brands to deliver propositions with authority and broaden the destination appeal of its stores.
“Asda’s partnerships strategy is anchored around collaborating with innovative businesses like Lean Kitchen Network to bring new products and services to customers,” Asda chief strategy officer Preyash Thakrar said.
“Investing in the business is the natural next step in our relationship and we look forward to working with them as they drive positive change in the food-for-now market, leading to greater choice and improved quality for consumers.”
LKN – whose portfolio includes viral virtual burger chain Twisted London – secured Asda’s backing to target further growth in the hospitality sector by partnering with large hotel operators, restaurants and pub chains to transform under-utilised kitchen space into “on-trend” eateries.
These eateries aim to improve on-site dining options and drive new and incremental sales through on demand food delivery.
LKN also works with major brands such as Pepsico, Heinz and Doritos, and uses its own brands including Twisted London (a partnership with Jungle Creations) and House of Yum to create interactive menus that change throughout the day to suit the needs of customers.
“Our partnership with Asda represents a big step forward in our ability to provide high quality, affordable and exciting meals to our customers across the UK,” LKN chief executive Faraz Nagree said.
“Their unparalleled expertise and buying scale combined with our digital and food development capabilities will be truly disruptive for food-for-now and delivery as we grow at pace.”