DINING FEATURE KitchenUnitedMix Local restaurants eye future at shared kitchen
BY JACK FLAGLER
Before opening Bao’d Up in the Mueller neighborhood in 2017, Ting Lin returned to China, the country where he grew up, to study the culinary styles he wanted to put on his menu. He and co-founder Alex Wu aimed to bring a dierent style of food to Austinites—but they also noticed American and Chinese diners had dierent habits. Americans are more likely to go out to a sit-down restaurant, while take- out is more popular in China, but that has been changing over the last few years, according to Bao’d Up market- ing director Cici Zhu, and the takeout trend in the U.S. was only accelerated by recent forced shutdowns due to the coronavirus. “Especially during COVID-19, in this period of time, takeout will become more mainstream. The entire food industry, we feel like it’s moving this way,” Zhu said. To get ahead of that trend, Bao’d
Up opened its fourth location June 4 in the Kitchen United Mix facility on Burnet Road in North Austin. The shared space oers 13 small kitchens for restaurant owners to provide on-site takeout and delivery service. Customers can order on the restau- rant’s website, the Kitchen United website, via a third-party delivery app or at a digital kiosk inside the space. Kitchen United started in 2018 in Pasadena, California, and Joy Lai, Kitchen United’s chief marketing o- cer, said the model helps restaurants looking to oset the loss of dine-in business by expanding takeout. Lakhbir Singh, the owner of Round Rock-based Indian restaurant Teji’s, said he hopes the model will allow him to expand his business to more geographic areas as dine-in customers slowly return. Austin’s Kitchen United Mix loca- tion has seven restaurants either now open or coming soon.
An employee fromHawaiian Bros. prepares a takeout order at Kitchen United Mix on Burnet Road.
An employee at Bao’d Up moves bao from the steamer to the warmer at Kitchen United Mix on Burnet Road.
PHOTOS BY JACK FLAGLERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
OPEN FOR TAKEOUT These restaurants are
• Bombay Walla : Indian • Bao'd Up : Chinese bao • Dog Haus : hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches • Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill : Hawaiian • Hawt Chicken : chicken sandwiches • Sustain Burger : burgers • Teji's : Indian
now open or coming soon to the Kitchen United Mix facility on Burnet Road. The space has 13 kitchens available. SOURCE: KITCHEN UNITED MIXCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
KitchenUnitedMix 8023 Burnet Road, Austin www.kitchenunited.com
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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • JUNE 2020
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