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C3 will offer up to seven of its brands for both onsite consumption and third-party delivery.

C3 inks foodservice partnership with residential properties

Combination onsite/delivery model with virtual brands mirrors recent Graduate Hotel agreement

Multi-concept operator C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) has agreed to open its onsite foodservice/virtual brand format in residential apartment properties operated by Akara Living, the company said Wednesday.

The agreement follows, and is similar to, C3’s recently announced partnership with Graduate Hotels to operate that company’s on-premise foodservice operations and use the facilities as distribution hubs for its portfolio of virtual brands.

C3, which owns the Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam's Crispy Chicken, Plant Nation and other concepts, said it would launch its operations in two of Akara Living’s Kenect “serviced apartment” communities in Nashville, Tenn., and Phoenix this summer. C3 and Akara have also agreed to install the multi-brand foodservice concept in all future Kenect properties.

C3 would manage all of the Kenect dining venues, which include lobby cafes and bars, private pool decks and new outdoor street-facing cafes. Up to seven of C3’s restaurant concepts would be available at each location, with delivery of C3’s brands available for delivery to residents as well as to the surrounding communities.

Sam Nazarian, founder of C3, had previously described the company’s partnership with Graduate Hotels as a “50-50” financial relationship through which C3 will share costs and revenues evenly with the hotel operator. A spokesperson for C3 was not immediately available to comment on the terms of the partnership with Akara.

KenectCoworking-9076.jpegPhoto: Kenect properties include coworking spaces and a few hundred residential units. The first Kenect properties are in Nashville and Phoenix.

C3’s model is to showcase the storefronts of a single brand at each foodservice location on the property, and use the kitchens to produce its other brands for delivery via third-party delivery firms. It has also developed a mobile app, called CitizensGO, that will allow customers to combine menu items from multiple concepts in a single order.

The first two Kenect properties, like the Graduate Hotels, are located near universities. In both Kenect Phoenix and Kenect Nashville, the properties also will include large co-working spaces.

Kenect Phoenix, located near Arizona State University’s downtown campus, includes 320 residential units and 4,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and an 8,000-square-foot co-working space in a 23-story building. Kenect Nashville, located near Vanderbilt University, includes 420 residential units, 21,000-square feet of retail space and 20,000-square feet of co-working space in a 20-store building.

Additional locations in development include Kenect Denver, Kenect Miami, Kenect Cleveland and Kenect Minneapolis, with more locations planned for urban markets nationwide. 

Akara Living, founded by developer Rajen Shastri, opened the first Kenect property in Chicago in 2016, and also operates extended-stay hotels and other properties.

“Rajen is a visionary whose foresight about the evolving needs of today's professionals transformed residential real estate through the Kenect brand,” Nazarian said in a statement “Together, our solution-driven businesses are paving the way for quality and convenience.”

Shastri said the C3 kitchens will “offer significant value for resident of Kenect.”

“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 co-working club members,” he said.

C3 operates more than 200 digital kitchens and 15 restaurant brands. In addition to Umami Burger, Krispy Rice and Sam's Crispy Chicken, it also operates EllaMia, In a Bun, The Other Side, Dani Garcia's Pollo Verde, Morimoto Sa'moto, and Dario's Cicci De Carne.

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