Top 10 Kitchen Start-ups to Watch in 2021

These top 10 kitchen start-ups have not only challenged the traditional format of the kitchen but also made for more efficient, Covid-safe and sustainable cooking spaces within the hospitality industry.


TechRound have listed the Top 10 Kitchen Start-ups to watch out for in 2021!

  1. Karakuri, Robot Kitchen
  2. Winnow, Food Waste Management
  3. Jacuna, Cloud Kitchens
  4. Dephna, Delivery only flexible kitchens
  5. KBOX Global, Community based community kitchens
  6. Zapp, Groceries to kitchen in under 20 minutes
  7. Butlr, Food and drink checkout app
  8. Mission Kitchen, multiple use spaces for chefs/restaurant owners
  9. Rekki, App for chefs and supplies
  10. Curb Food, first virtual food court


Number 1 – Karakuri




Karakuri builds robots that can mass-produce food. These robots enable:

  • Customers to control and adjust their meals according to their unique dietary requirements
  • Control over the temperature of ingredients
  • Record 100% of nutritional information

With renowned chef Heston Blumenthal on the advisory board, the minds behind Karakuri set their sights on delivering custom-made, healthy, and sustainable meals. Their two models are:

  • DK1 – remarkably this model’s typical meal output is every 10 seconds, and the maximum meal servicing time is 2 minutes from order to collection.
  • Marley – the smaller, more transportable version of DK1, Marley, allows up to 12 ingredients and has a maximum meal servicing time of 90 seconds from order to collection. Marley has the ability to integrate ingredients and has external dispensers included within the model – making the perfect robot to create ice-cream or frozen yogurt – who would say no?

This model, which does not seek to replace human labour but rather ensure cleanliness and efficiency, makes for an appealing alternative in a post-Covid climate.




Number 2 – Winnow




This start-up has the technology designed to minimise waste, managed through their product – a waste bin and software which calculates the amount of waste used through measuring what is in the bin and uploading it to the cloud. All in all, it reduces food waste.  The product essentially marks the meeting point between busy kitchens and technology, ensuring a more sustainable and less wasteful kitchen.

Winnow has two products:

  1. Winnow Waste Monitor is both a digital scale and a connected tablet. When a member of a kitchen throws an item of food away, the weight is recorded and they input the reason, item and dish the ingredient was for.
  2. Winnow Vision uses computer vision to identify waste. The bin-like product takes a photograph of the food when it is thrown away and uses images to form an understanding of what has been thrown away. Over time the product builds the intelligence to recognise what has been thrown away and records it automatically, cutting out the human inputting data altogether.




Number 3 – Jacuna




For those of you that saw Channel 4’s Deliveroo: Secrets of Your Takeaway, saw the emergence of ‘Dark Kitchens’ or ‘cloud kitchens’ – spaces designed entirely for the delivery-only model. These kitchens have come to dominate the restaurant industry with the forced closure of hundreds of restaurants across the country for extended periods.

Jacuna have sites in UK cities – London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, and many more on the horizon.

For example, their Camden N1 site, which will be due to open in Spring 2021, has 16 kitchens with walk-in fridges and freezers.

Jacuna additionally offers exclusive benefits and reduced fees through their partnerships with Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat, in addition to consultancy services.




Number 4 – Dephna




Like Jacuna, Dephna offers delivery-only kitchens in London. Prizing themselves on:

  • Flexible pricing
  • 24/hour access
  • Customisable kitchen spaces
  • Car parks/ loading bays and lifts
  • Necessary food accreditations

Their USP is the fact that costs are entirely customised based on the size of the business, kitchen hired, and the length of time they will stay.




Number 5 – KBOX Global


KBOX Global


Founded in the UK 2019, KBOX Global builds food brands and maximises commercial kitchen space.

In some cases, the dark kitchen has been a purpose-built area, perhaps in a large industrial space or car park. In comparison, KBOX takes underused kitchen spaces and pairs them up with restaurants/ pubs/ bars who are looking for purely food-delivery based spaces. For example, a gym in London might have a kitchen space used to support members of that gym, KBOX will facilitate the support needed for both the space and the party using it.

In 2020, KBOX received funding for their expansion in Australia and India, and 8 more countries.


Number 6 – Zapp




When you are in your own kitchen but forget the flour that you need to add to your banana bread, fret no more… Zapp ensures groceries in less than 20 minutes.

The service is currently available in West London: Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Belgravia , with more to come.

Their USP is the fact that they operate 24/7, 365 days a year and that the service is instantly delivered by Zappers! Offering essentials to your kitchen and stocking over 1000 products in their ‘Zappstore’, their version of a mini-warehouse, Zapp prides itself on a uniquely convenient service.

Delivery is free for orders over £30 with a small charge of £1.99 for orders below £30.




Number 7 – Butlr





Butlr, the UK-based company founded in 2019, with a goal to contemporise the restaurant and hospitality industry, took on a new narrative in 2020.

Butlr, an app that allows you to browse a menu, order food, and pay for it all on the app, in the format of internet shopping became particularly effective during the latter half of 2020.

Having used Butlr, the waiter were able to simply drop food or drinks at a table in a matter of seconds, avoiding unnecessary contact with customers paving the way for a new Covid-safe alternative within the hospitality industry.




Number 8 – Mission Kitchens


Mission Kitchens


Mission Kitchens are ‘supporting small guys with big ideas’.

They do not only provide shared and individual kitchen spaces, but also ensure a variety of other facilities that include, cooking, working, learning, and dining spaces.

The company profits through a membership system:

  • Shared Kitchen: On-Demand – You can book a flexible shift within a shared kitchen of £320/mo + VAT
  • Shared Kitchen: Full Time – £1250/mo + VAT
  • Private Kitchen – £1950/mo + VAT
  • Private Studio: Office/ workshop spaces – £750/mo + VAT
  • Desk Membership: Hot-desking/ meeting rooms – £175/mo + VAT


Mission Kitchens


Number 9 – Rekki




Rekki is an app which provides the kitchen with produce in an efficient and cost effective way, leaving much room for adaptability and growth. Improving the way chefs and suppliers communicate – makes for more efficient kitchens …

Rekki facilitates the relationship between kitchens and suppliers, making the process as easy as possible. Rekki also provides the technology for suppliers to analysis order patterns and promote new fresh produce.

The perfect example of Rekki’s adaptability within the tough restaurant, and hospitality industry, is in the case of restaurant Parlour in Kensal. When the restaurant decided to transform their kitchen into a marketplace for fresh produce, they were able to compare suppliers via the app and reduced a weekly spend by 5.5%.




Number 10 – Curb Food


Curb Food


Curb Food is the first ‘virtual food court’ founded in 2020, in København, Denmark. Operating across Denmark and Sweden, the start-up is a small team of 11-50 individuals.

Marketing themselves as having ‘a passion for food and a twist in tech’, the company delivers a high quality of food options in one delivery. The company partners with a number of restaurants, a ‘kitchen full of kitchens’ offering anything from burgers to toasted cheese, buffalo chicken wings to a burrito. An alternative to the people-filled food markets, Curb food provides the same model but directly to your door.

Curb food additionally relies on the collaboration between themselves and delivery-deliveroo style start-ups such as Wolt (founded in 2015 in Helsinki, Uber Eats Stockholm and Foodora, founded 2014 and based in Berlin).


Curb Food