Your Delivery Order May Be Cooked in a Parking Garage
REEF Technology may change how we think of restaurants post-Covid
Order up! One fried chicken sandwich appears on the digital screen. Batter, dunk, fry, assemble. The spicy habanero fried chicken gets gussied up with a few pickle slices and a slap of butter on a Martin’s potato roll. Paired with macaroni salad and daikon slaw. Like an orchestrated quartet, three chefs seamlessly construct David Chang’s famous Fuku Korean fried chicken sandwiches in a 200-square-foot kitchen. The sandwich is popped into a to-go box and sealed with a Fuku sticker. A delivery worker on a bike retrieves the order and speeds away toward the finish line, an apartment in breezy, tropical Miami.
There’s no brick-and-mortar Fuku in Florida, but Florida diners can still get the same Fuku menu. And it’s legit — even if this particular chicken sandwich came from a parking lot in Miami, thanks to REEF Technology. That said, it’s not all roses. When REEF rolled out Fuku in Portland, Oregon, it was paused because people were less than thrilled it debuted in the middle of Covid.
REEF is one of a handful of companies that challenges the way we think about real estate — and how we dine.
With around 5,000 parking lots and garage locations, REEF Technology has the potential for Starbucks-level density in a city like San Francisco or New York. According to the Chief Creative Officer of REEF, Alan Philips, the vision is to transform underutilized urban real estate by providing what they’re calling “essential services” like kitchen pods that can be used for cooking, distribution, and logistics: Consider, for example, the 500 of the most-delivered items on Amazon stored in a parking lot on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Using underutilized spaces like lots allows REEF to get products to consumers faster.
“This is ‘the last block’ because we are on the block,” Philips said.
REEF Technology, headquartered in Miami, is reimagining empty lot spaces. Through REEF, lots are being flipped into mobile culinary platforms through specialized…