24 Michael Joseph of Scratch Kitchen – The Future of Restaurants and On-Demand Food – Outlier Academy

Michael Joseph is Founder and CEO of Scratch Kitchen, an entirely new approach to restaurants that offers multiple brands and food types—from salads to sandwiches and burgers—all under one roof. Scratch Kitchen is also takeout and delivery only, and uses proprietary data to inform what foods and brands they offer in each market.
Last updated
September 18, 2021
3
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Before starting Scratch Kitchen, Michael built and grew several organic food companies, including Green Chef, Door to Door Organics, and Mile High Organics.
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“I have two KPIs in how I operate now. Number one, customer delight. There is no business if the customers don't pay. The other piece is profitability.” – Michael Joseph

In this episode of Outliers, I’m talking with Michael Joseph (@scratchkitchen) about building and scaling meal kit company Green Chef, the risk of Cloud Kitchens and delivery platforms, and the future of on-demand food.

Michael Joseph is Founder and CEO of Scratch Kitchen, an entirely new approach to restaurants that offers multiple brands and food types—from salads to sandwiches and burgers—all under one roof. Scratch Kitchen is also takeout and delivery only, and uses proprietary data to inform what foods and brands they offer in each market. Before starting Scratch Kitchen, Michael built and scaled Green Chef (later sold to Hello Fresh), Door to Door Organics, and Mile High Organics. Along with his work in the food industry, Michael is an angel investor in companies like Lunchbox, Caper, MilkRun, and Spark Grills

Chapters in this interview:

  • 00:01:04 – Michael’s background that led him to the on-demand food industry
  • 00:07:56 – Current food trends and where they’ll go next
  • 00:16:50 – The challenges of providing truly gluten-free food options
  • 00:22:42 – Building and scaling Green Chef, a meal delivery service company
  • 00:30:52 – Being successful in business means having multiple strengths
  • 00:32:07 – Michael’s two-pronged approach to business success
  • 00:38:17 – Building out the Scratch Kitchen model
  • 00:56:17 – The Scratch Kitchen system for removing friction from on-demand food
  • 01:05:40 – How Scratch Kitchen compares to a ghost kitchen
  • 01:27:01 – The concept of food APIs


For more explore the transcript of this episode.

Links from the Episode

Key Takeaway

Restaurants are undergoing a generational shift in technology and customer preferences. On-demand delivery platforms like DoorDash and UberEats have fundamentally changed the way people browse and shop for food. The popularity of organic ingredients, specialized diets (like Paleo), and allergen-free food (like gluten free) have reshaped customers’ expectations. Like all disruption, these changes present an incredible opportunity to rethink the tried-and-true model and to innovate in a space that has seen little change over the last 50 years. Scratch Kitchen is doing just this, and by studying their approach, we can glimpse the future of restaurants and on-demand food.

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