Ordering dinner at a brewery, hotel or venue from Reef ghost kitchen is not exactly hard. You head to a delivery platform, order your meal and wait for the driver. But the acquisition of 2ndKitchen promises to make it even easier.

2ndKitchen was founded three years ago with the singular purpose of enabling “hospitality businesses such as bars, hotels, or office buildings to serve food without the hassle of an onsite kitchen.” For co-founder and CEO Nick Anastasiades that meant getting very cozy with venues and local restaurants, forging partnerships on the 2ndKitchen platform so the venue could have a food program fulfilled by nearby restaurants.

“Our thesis is to be as integrated in the business as possible. We want the deliver the most seamless experience,” said 2ndKitchen cofounder and CEO.

The company has grown fast, adding 450 percent to sales just in the first quarter of 2021. But the growth process was tricky and very, very local. The explosion of ghost kitchens made that a little easier and Anastasiades partnered up with Reef.

“Reef was actually one of the suppliers we got introduced to and they powered our operations in multiple cities. As our partnership grew, this summer, we kind of continued the conversation and figured it makes a lot of strategic sense to combine forces,” said Anastasiades. “One of the reasons this made so much sense, it removes a lot of these blockers. Previously, we didn’t own any part of the experience, we were using restaurants nearby. Now we can own more of the experience.”

Reef’s national footprint means scaling in the future will be even easier. For Reef Technologies, 2ndKitchen was a seamless entry point into its growing hospitality vertical, as Rui Barros, SVP of Global Hospitality at Reef said.

“Our mission of bring the best of what the world has to offer to where people work and live, so this makes a lot of sense when you look at 2ndKitchen’s mission,” said Barros. “We have operational capabilities, the tech stack and the brands, we believe that by combining forces with 2ndKitchen, we can delivery some really compelling things for the hospitality space.”

The most intriguing aspect, plugging Reef brands directly into a venue’s ecosystem. Anastasiades said 2ndKitchen is already in 100,000 hotel rooms, and it’s been a focus for the company as hotels look to de-risk and de-complicate properties without telling guests to go figure out their own dinner.

“We really looked at the entire experience. As soon as you check in, you’re made aware of the offering by the hotel. You can scan the QR in the room, you don’t have to create an account, you just order a Mr. Beast burger,” said Anastasiades. “The whole experience is optimized.”

In practice, the hotel guest, brewery patron or baseball fan sees the Reef brands just like an in-house option. It ticks all the boxes for the ultra-convenience-minded consumer. It works similarly for other venues. At a brewery, for instance, outsourced food shows up in stream with the beers and it’s all one menu and bill for customers and employees.

“It’s s speed, convenience and quality. It’s all sort of tied together,” said Barros. “One other thing I’d add in addition to food, we have the ability to introduce retail as well. You can order your burger and fries, but you just found that you forgot your charger and you can order that as well. That’s the beauty of our platform.”

A table-topper at a 2ndKitchen-powered brewery.

Barros said it also unlocks some interesting potential for those venues. They can shut down their kitchen or keep it going with Reef brands delivering out of the back door as well as to the hotel rooms above.

He said this was an opportunity to grab the leaders in this novel field of B2B culinary outsourcing, but there was a culture fit too.

“Rather build something, we engaged with who we believed was a leader in the space,” said Barros. “But their commitment to their mission is what made it all make sense for us. An acquisition isn’t just, ‘Hey, this is a cool company.’ To our leaderships credit, it’s as much about the culture and the mission and vision of that group, that was a sealer for us. We were able to kick the tires we had a great relationship with Nick and the team and we saw potential to expand that relationship.”

Anastasiades his two fellow cofounders and the entire 17-person team will join Reef. The goals are still coming together, but Anastasiades said the acquisition allows his team to think much bigger than the few-block radius around their partnered venues.

“We’re still working on targets, but we’re thinking globally and we’re thinking beyond food,” said Anastasiades.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.