Taiwan’s first international virtual kitchen brand “Just Kitchen” went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), making it the first virtual kitchen company to go public in North America. The company valuation grew by 300% in the 15 days after going public. Riding on the success in Canada, Just Kitchen went public in Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB) at the end of April, while looking forward to its IPO in the United States at the end of May.
Growing up in Canada, it was hard to find authentic Taiwanese foods. Whenever I came back to Taiwan, the first thing on my list is to eat all the Taiwanese local foods that I missed desperately
– Jason Chen, CEO of Just Kitchen.
Moreover, Just Kitchen is actively developing the global market as it will open its first overseas location in Hong Kong in June with the U.S., Canada, Singapore and the Philippines to follow.
First international virtual restaurant brand in Asia
Created in Taiwan in 2019 and launched the following year, Just Kitchen is a first for Taiwanese startups as it went public in 2 years. While the epidemic hurt restaurant businesses all over the world in 2020, the company grew against all the odds with the innovative service model that saw average monthly sales grew by 40%. In the first quarter of 2021, sales saw a staggering 120% increase compared to the third quarter in the previous year.
Senior management including CEO Jason Chen are Canadians raised in Taiwan so they are familiar with the restaurant business in North America and Asia as well as the Canadian capital market. Excellent results in Taiwan and international know-how were some of the reasons that Just Kitchen attracts international investors.
Looking into the year, the company will also establish the first overseas service location in Hong Kong, aiming to bring authentic Taiwanese cuisines such as BIT beef noodle and Formosa Chang’s braised pork rice to Hong Kong connoisseurs.
Just Kitchen is the first company from SparkLabs Taipei to go public
Just Kitchen is also the very first company that went public from Taiwan’s startup accelerator, SparkLabs Taipei. “As Just Kitchen’s seed investor, SparkLabs Taipei is honored to witness the founding team’s continuing growth and international success,” said Edgar Chiu, managing partner of SparkLabs.
“Having seen the amazing accomplishments of the Just Kitchen team, we believe Taiwanese startups have the potential to go international. SparkLabs Taipei will continue to help early startups expand worldwide and share the Just Kitchen experience with more teams as we work with Taiwanese startups.”
Just Kitchen provides digital solutions for traditional restaurants
Just Kitchen introduced a digital business model that combines central kitchen, diverse virtual restaurant brands and delivery, which successfully delivers the orders to consumers and solves the delivery distance problem that limits traditional restaurants.
As the premium central kitchen and 15 satellite kitchens deliver cuisines to nearly 3,000 consumers every day, the virtual kitchen has become Taiwan’s first and biggest international virtual restaurant brand in a very short time.
“We have a lot of F&B brands in Taiwan, however, it’s uncommon for local brands to expand and achieve success overseas. That is why Just Kitchen made this our company mission – to internationalize Taiwanese cuisine and share with the world,” said Jason Chen.
Just Kitchen merges authentic cuisines and cloud big data, but how does it help?
“Just Kitchen helps businesses expand quickly by overcoming regional limitations,” said John Yu, CMO of Just Kitchen. “Brand owners don’t have to open physical stores and spend on training because Just Kitchen will handle everything including kitchen establishment, staff recruiting and training as well as connecting with the local supply chain. Moreover, we can help to deliver brand stories in a local tone when entering a foreign market. Our restaurant partners won’t have to worry about cultural differences and will be able to expand overseas business easily with our virtual restaurant system and services. Just Kitchen merges authentic cuisines, cloud big data and innovative designs to deliver fine Taiwanese food all over the world.”
Fresh meal delivered for fur babies, too
Besides meeting the needs of gourmets, Just Kitchen is targeting the pet market as it will soon launch the new in-house brand “Wow Chow” for freshly made meal boxes for pets, making it the first food delivery platform that offers delivery service for pets at home.