C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), the revolutionary tech-enabled food and beverage platform founded by Sam Nazarian, announces planned expansion into the global marketplace through a partnership with Kitopi, the world’s largest managed cloud kitchen platform. As part of the initial launch, C3, a leader in the virtual ghost kitchen space, will license 10 of its digital restaurant brands to Kitopi including Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken and Krispy Rice. This strategic partnership marks C3’s first international development, introducing the company’s popular concepts to consumers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with additional markets to come through Kitopi’s network throughout the Middle East and Asia. All C3 concepts available through Kitopi’s cloud kitchens will be powered by CITIZENS GO, a revolutionary mobile app developed by C3 and Lunchbox which enables users to group orders from multiple C3 brands into a single cart, without any hidden delivery fees.
Founded in 2019, C3 has commanded exponential growth over the last two years, closing out 2020 with nearly 200 digital kitchens, 15 newly imagined brands and more than 1,200 employees. The partnership with Kitopi cements C3 as a key player in the global culinary marketplace, making all of C3’s brands available in Kitopi’s virtual kitchens and dine-in restaurants across the Middle East. The first 65 locations will roll out within the next six months and will rapidly expand to 90 kitchens within the first year, each offering menu items from all 10 of C3’s popular brands. C3’s alignment with Kitopi follows a series of strategic partnerships executed within the last 12 months, allowing C3 to multiply the reach of its digital-first brands through hotels and residential properties, and a collection of marquee food halls slated to launch in the coming months.
“International expansion has been a pillar of C3’s growth model from the beginning. When the time came to execute on that vision, we knew we wanted to partner with Kitopi and debut our brands in an influential market like the Middle East,” says Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of C3. “With exponential growth planned, Kitopi’s smart kitchen model provides us with the technology and tools to scale our brands in as little as two weeks. The partnership grants us direct access to Kitopi’s dedicated patrons, considered an influential group of culinary tastemakers for the Middle East.”
This partnership marks the first time Kitopi is teaming up with a leading tech-based culinary platform to execute its brands internationally. Founded in 2018, Kitopi is recognized as one of the world’s first managed cloud kitchens. The company specializes in end-to-end operations, providing restauranters the platform for amplification and rapid expansion while they take care of all back-end operations and customer experience management. Today, Kitopi has 65 kitchens and more than 200 culinary brands across the Middle East’s leading markets.
“Our customers trust Kitopi to bring them innovative and undiscovered culinary experiences,” says Mohamed Ballout, founder of Kitopi. “The brands that Sam Nazarian has created at C3 are exactly what our diverse, ever-evolving region is looking for. The menus offer unique flavors and dishes – like the Japanese-inspired Umami Burger – not commonly found in our marketplace. Both C3 and Kitopi firmly believe in creating community-based experiences around food, and this partnership will further strengthen our efforts to connect diners all over the world through the shared enjoyment of a good meal.”
The first C3 brands are set to go live in Kitopi kitchens by June 1, and will be available for pickup and delivery via the CITIZENS GO app.
C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) is re-imagining the food service industry at a time when change is needed most. Founded and led by visionary Sam Nazarian with minority investors Simon, a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations, and Accor, the world-leading augmented hospitality group, C3 is simultaneously, systematically and broadly bringing together technology, underutilized retail, hotel and kitchen spaces and world-class culinary talent. C3’s array of culinary brands coexist to disrupt the food & beverage industry by capitalizing on rapidly evolving customer preferences through C3 established shared kitchens, mobile delivery with the next-gen Citizens Go app (set to launch in 2021), and Citizens food halls. Current C3 brands include Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam's Crispy Chicken, EllaMia, In a Bun, The Other Side and Dani Garcia’s Minük, with many other brands in the pipeline. The first Citizens food hall will open in New York City at Manhattan West in 2021. As of February 2021, C3 operates 250 digital kitchens across the U.S. To learn more, visit c3sbe.com.
Kitopi is the world’s leading managed cloud kitchen platform. Founded in January 2018, Kitopi partners with restaurants and F&B concepts to help them expand beyond borders in as little as 14 days. Tech-powered and customer obsessed, Kitopi’s mission is to satisfy the world’s appetite. It currently operates more than 60 state-of-the-art kitchens across the UAE, KSA and Kuwait, thanks to over 2000 talented Kitopians and partners with more than 200 brands.