After five years in San Francisco, personal chef booking platform Kitchit has closed. The company left a lengthy statement on its web site, citing “the realities of business” as the reason for shutting down. “Just recently, we served our 100,000th meal,” the statement from co-founders Ian Ferguson and Brendan Marshall read. “While we’re hungry for more, the realities of our business leave us no choice but to conclude this chapter.”
Founded in 2011, Kitchit was initially a place to book a personal chef to prepare high-end meals in your home and quickly expanded to Chicago, Los Angeles and New York with that business model. “While we earned accolades from the press and our early customers, we realized internally that several factors were limiting the growth of our business,” the statement continued. “Diners had a hard time differentiating between so many talented chefs; substantial back and forth was required to plan a meal; and our price points—typically $75-125 per person — remained out of reach for most would-be users. We were determined to compete with restaurants, transform the way people eat at home, and create outstanding experiences for as many people as possible. Something had to change.”
That something was morphing its concept into "Kitchit Tonight" in 2015, which let diners book a meal last-minute from pre-set menu options for $39 per person. Kitchit would send a cook to your home to then assemble, serve and clean up the meal for you. Despite seeing “sustained monthly growth above 30%” using that model, it was not enough to sustain the company without additional investment funding.
During its life, Kitchit raised $8.1 million, which got it through five years, but the company was not able to raise any more. “Investment runways are finite, and unfortunately ours reached its end at a moment of substantial upheaval in the food-tech world,” the statement said, noting that its rivals like Spoonrocket and Dinner Lab — which both recently shut down — faced the same challenge. And so the tech wars continue.