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Why Kroger Is Suddenly Closing All of Its Popular Food Halls

The chain's partnership with Kitchen United is coming to an end.

A major change is underway at Kroger—and it may come as a disappointment to shoppers who like to pick up their groceries and hot meals under one roof.

Kitchen United, which runs ghost kitchens across the country, has officially confirmed that all seven food halls it was operating inside Kroger stores have been shuttered. These locations make up about a third of its total fleet of 25 locations.

"We have closed all of Kitchen United locations operating inside of Kroger," the company said in a statement to Eat This, Not That! "We appreciate their partnership and support over the years."

Those closures came as Kitchen United was looking to "pivot back into a software business." That software—which Kitchen United described as "another core strength of the business" in a message to Restaurant Divewas developed to run the company's ghost kitchens.

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Kroger Kitchen United location

Kitchen United didn't provide any reasons for the closures aside from its plans to focus on its software business. Kroger also confirmed the closures in a statement to Winsight Grocery Business, but didn't offer any additional reasons as to why.

"Unfortunately, Kitchen United will no longer operate in our stores," the statement read. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may create and encourage customers to explore delicious ready-to-eat items in our deli departments."

Kroger's partnership with Kitchen United dates back to 2021, when the grocery company first announced the collaboration. The announcement said that each Kitchen United food hall inside Kroger stores would feature food from up to six local, regional, and national restaurant brands. Customers were able to order items from multiple restaurant brands to create a customized order under one transaction.

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The sudden shutdown of those Kroger food halls is something of a shock considering that Kitchen United raised $100 million from a group of investors last year that included Kroger, per Winsight Grocery Business. Kitchen United CEO Atul Sood also told Restaurant Business Magazine earlier this year that he saw "so much opportunity in retail and grocery" for the company.

The seven shuttered Kitchen United locations were located in Kroger stores across Texas, Ohio, and Indiana. Aside from the defunct Kitchen United food halls, the grocery chain doesn't currently house other types of ghost kitchens or food courts. This means that Kroger customers in those areas will have to look elsewhere for their meals when ordering takeout moving forward.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe