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Kona Grill's parent, The One Group, has announced it would begin licensing Kona Grill, STK and Bao Yum to REEF for one delivery-only unit in Austin, Texas.

Reef Technology partners with The One Group for fine- and casual-dining collaboration

STK and Kona Grill will be offered through the ghost kitchen operator in Austin, Texas

Reef Technology and The One Group — parent to STK and Kona Grill — have partnered for a delivery-only operation in Austin, Texas, The One Group announced during its fourth quarter earnings call on Monday.

This seems to be ghost-kitchen specialist Reef’s first fine-dining collaboration.

The ghost kitchen will also serve food from Bao Yum, The One Group’s concept that opened in London last year.

The One Group is using the partnership to test new markets for its restaurants.

“I would describe that as a test to see what we can do in a place — for instance, Texas — where we really don't have an STK or another brand,” said The One Group CEO Emanuel N. P. Hilario during the call.

The virtual restaurants will be licensed sites and “there’s very little upfront capital on them. There's some marketing investment with them to market the brands,” he said.

Reef has partnered with brands like Del Taco and celebrities like DJ Khaled and Mr Beast for international releases of ghost kitchens that break records.

The One Group saw same-store sales increase 49.8% for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 and 34.2% for the fiscal year 2021. STK saw same-store sales increase 60% for the quarter while Kona Grill saw sales increase 38.2% for the fourth quarter.

“Throughout 2021, we opened seven new venues and are extremely pleased with their performance. In 2022, our development pipeline is even larger as we plan to open at least nine new venues,” Hilario said in a release.

The company currently has 23 STK locations and 24 Kona Grill locations in the U.S. and abroad.

In terms of growth, Hilario doesn’t see ghost kitchens as the brand’s goal. He still sees brick and mortar as its future.

“I think [ghost kitchens are] a very interesting upside auxiliary growth opportunity, but it is not part of our core growth strategy. Our core strategy is still capturing the 200 opportunities plus for STK and 200-plus for Kona Grill” he said.

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