CloudKitchens To Retaliate Against Uber Eats, DoorDash With DRA Front
May 10, 2023
Last spring, Tusk Holdings founded the Digital Restaurant Association (DRA), a non-profit whose mission is to lobby for price and data transparency on third-party food delivery apps on behalf of restaurants. In October, Financial Times published a story linking the DRA to CloudKitchens’ parent company City Storage Systems as the head of its Otter subsidiary, Guido Gabrielli, was listed as a board member on its website. Gabrielli, a former Uber GM, has since been removed from the DRA website as the organization has garnered interest from corporate chains like Bloomin’ Brands, Dine Brands, Union Square Hospitality Group, and TGI Fridays as well as a handful of industry leaders as advisors. The organization, which favors fee transparency over commission caps, lobbies for legislation around alcohol delivery regulation, data sharing, and consent between third-party platforms and restaurants.
As a ghost kitchen real estate business that is currently reliant on such platforms for demand, it would make complete sense for CloudKitchens’ founder Travis Kalanick to leverage Tusk’s brass knuckles to help him avenge the very platform he once built. HNGRY has explored such financial motives for CloudKitchens to disintermediate third-party delivery apps in a November 2022 post about its foray into first-party ordering, capturing more commissions from its restaurant tenants while also improving their margins. Smaller competitors like Kitchen United and Local Kitchens have long optimized their business to such first-party sales, but still work with third-party marketplaces in a limited fashion.