C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), a food and beverage platform founded by Sam Nazarian, announced a partnership with Chicago and Miami-based Akara Living founded by Rajen Shastri to integrate ghost kitchens in Kenect, one of Akara Living’s serviced apartment communities. This venture marks the first time a portfolio of residential properties utilizes in-house digital ghost kitchens to offer residents convenient and diversified dining options. C3 kitchens will launch in Summer 2021 at Kenect properties in Nashville and Phoenix and will be included in all future Kenect properties as the brand expands into numerous urban markets across the country over the next several years.
This arm of the C3 business model allows C3 to oversee daily operations and service needs for all Kenect onsite dining venues, including Kenect’s lobby cafés and bars and its private pool decks, as well as delivery to Kenect residents and social and coworking club members and the surrounding community. With kitchens led by C3-trained chefs, up to seven distinct C3 restaurant concepts such as Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, and Plant Nation will be housed in each location. New street-facing cafés will extend each brand’s reach within the local neighborhood.
“Rajen is a visionary whose foresight about the evolving needs of today’s professionals transformed residential real estate through the Kenect brand,” says Nazarian. “Together, our solution-driven businesses are paving the way for quality and convenience.”
Conceived in 2013, Akara Living launched Kenect in 2016 in Chicago to connect work, living, fitness, and social programming under one monthly membership. Kenect properties feature high-quality furnished living spaces, modern and spacious common areas and amenities, including state of the art coworking spaces, and thoughtful hospitality-inspired services, as part of its expansive members-only offering. The Kenect portfolio now includes nearly 1,000 beds with another 2,500 beds in the development pipeline. Upcoming properties throughout the United States include Kenect Denver, Kenect Miami, Kenect Cleveland, and Kenect Minneapolis, with additional locations to open in urban markets nationwide.
“C3 kitchens offer a significant value-add for residents at Kenect,” says Rajen Shastri, founder and CEO of Akara Partners. “This partnership allows us to tap into C3’s network of in-demand brands like Krispy Rice and Umami Burger, elevating our amenity-rich buildings and hospitality services by providing a seamless dining experience for our residents as well as our social and coworking club members.”
Earlier this year, C3 announced the launch of Graduate Food Hall with Graduate Hotels, the first partnership of its kind with a hotel brand, as well as its first fulfillment partnership with The Ice Cream Shop by Unilever. C3 closed out 2020 with over 200 digital kitchens, 15 restaurant brands, 1,200 employees and 1.1 million meals served. The C3 portfolio currently comprises Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam's Crispy Chicken, EllaMia, In a Bun, The Other Side, Dani Garcia’s POLLO VERDE, Morimoto Sa’moto, and Dario’s Cicci De Carne with many other brands in the pipeline.
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