Kitchen United Names Michael Montagano CEO as Jim Collins Departs

Kitchen United, a ghost kitchen industry leader, announced the appointment of Michael Montagano as Chief Executive Officer and newest member of the company’s Board of Directors following two years serving as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Additionally, Joy Lai has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer from her previous position as Chief Marketing Officer.

“Over the past three years, we have built a solid foundation on which to grow. I am proud of what we accomplished in my years at Kitchen United, and can say without a doubt the Kitchen United team is the best that I’ve had the privilege to serve alongside. I know they will continue to achieve great success in the years ahead,” says former CEO Jim Collins, who departed the company to focus on personal endeavors.

“Michael is well positioned to continue to build upon Kitchen United’s industry leadership and help restaurant partners achieve optimal success,” adds David Krane, CEO and Managing Partner at GV. “He has been instrumental in growing the business and charting the course for the future, making him the ideal leader to advance the company into its next chapter of growth. Together with Joy, who has a deep understanding of consumer adoption and scaling businesses, we are confident the Kitchen United leadership team will achieve long-term success.”

Montagano joined Kitchen United as CFO in 2018, as an experienced executive with a proven track record of building and scaling venture-backed companies. He led capital formation initiatives for the company securing institutional financing partners including GV, Fidelity Investments, and G Squared, as well as strategic partners, RXR Realty, DivcoWest and Rich’s Food Products. Prior to Kitchen United, Montagano helped shepherd PowerFlex Systems from seed-stage to acquisition by a Fortune Global 100, Electricite de France (ENXTPA:EDF). He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Dog Haus World-Wide, one of the country’s fastest-growing national restaurant chains.

Montagano grew up in a restaurant family anchored by an Italian restaurant and neighborhood butchery founded by his grandparents. He received his MBA from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and his JD from Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law.

“I look forward to working closely with our exceptional senior leadership team and our entire board of directors,” Montagano says. “We believe strongly in the Company’s growth potential as we sharpen our focus on serving our clients and creating value for our stakeholders.”

In her new role as Chief Operating Officer, Lai oversees sales, marketing and operations at Kitchen United. She joined Kitchen United in 2019 bringing nearly two decades of experience driving growth for Enterprises and SMBs, including launching/scaling products, partnerships, and optimizing omni-channel strategies. She previously held strategic leadership roles at Internet Brands, The Wonderful Company and Bain & Company. Lai received a BS from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MS from Stanford University.

“Our team has built a burgeoning business by marrying deep experience in the industry with a passion for growing off-premise business for restaurant operators,” says Lai. “I look forward to

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Kitchen United CEO Jim Collins exits ghost kitchen company

Kitchen United, a pioneer in the emerging ghost kitchen space, announced Wednesday the departure of CEO Jim Collins, who played an instrumental role in developing the company’s string of rent-a-kitchen facilities in major U.S. markets.

He left to focus on personal endeavors, the Pasadena, Calif.-based company said. Michael Montagano, the company’s former chief financial officer and treasurer, has been named CEO. Chief Marketing Officer Joy Lai has taken over the role of chief operating officer. 

She and Montagano will work together to shepherd the company through its next round of growth, where demand is at an all-time high for its ghost kitchen facilities. Since the beginning of the year, volume at its centers, on a monthly basis, has increased 400% to 500%, Montagano told Nation’s Restaurant News in a phone interview this morning.

team-joy-lai.jpgJoy Lai

With heightened demand among the industry for ghost kitchen spaces, Kitchen United has a wait list of restaurants looking for space at one of its facillities. The company has been growing at its own pace since the first Kitchen United opened in Pasadena in 2018. The pandemic only escalated demand for its services from both consumers and operators, said Montagano, who has been CEO for two weeks.

“We think there’s a lot of habit forming behavior over the last six months and that will continue in the future,” he said.

Beyond Pasadena, Kitchen United has locations in Chicago, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Austin, Texas.  

In 2021, Montagano said the company is looking to enter New York City, expand locations in Texas and Northern California, specifically the Bay Area. 

The ghost kitchen space has been growing for a couple of years. But the sector has exploded with new concepts during the pandemic as restaurants turn to ghost, host and dark kitchens to serve delivery customers.

Montagano said Kitchen United welcomes the competition.

“We think there’s room for a lot of different [models] in the market. But we’re very confident in our business model,” he said.

The company’s kitchen facilities are designed to help established restaurant brands build off-premise business through delivery or catering. Many virtual restaurants also prepare food out of Kitchen United commissaries, including Canter’s Deli and Dog Haus.

The company’s 51 kitchens inside four centers host 40 brands ranging from independents to regional and national chains. Chick-fil-A, for example, is set up in Kitchen United’s Chicago facility. The chicken chain uses the facility to support a high volume of orders in the Chicago area. The quick-service c hain is exploring more opportunities with Kitchen United when it expands next year. 

Jollibee and Portillo’s also run delivery only operations out of the Chicago facility. 

Dog Haus, a regional chain from Southern California, is set up at three Kitchen United centers.

Besides working with well-known chains, Kitchen United also seeks out indepdentent restaurants with popular menus geared

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Susan Collins: Trump didn’t set a ‘good example’ by taking mask off at White House

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMurkowski after Trump halts talks: Congress must move on virus package Susan Collins: Punting coronavirus relief until after election a ‘huge mistake’ Biden leads Trump by 11 points in Maine: survey MORE (R-Maine) said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump and Biden’s plans would both add to the debt, analysis finds Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks Trump lashes out at FDA over vaccine guidelines MORE, who is currently infected with COVID-19, didn’t set a “good example” when he took off his mask outside of the White House earlier this week, shortly after leaving Walter Reed hospital.

“When I saw him on the balcony of the White House, taking off his mask, I couldn’t help but think that he sent the wrong signal, given that he’s infected with COVID-19 and that there are many people in his immediate circle who have the virus,” Collins told The Associated Press. “I did not think that was a good example at all.” 

Collins, who is fighting for her political life as she tries to hold onto her Senate seat, has previously been critical of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying earlier this year that it had been “extremely uneven” and that he “should have been straightforward” about the seriousness of the disease. 

Trump was spotted taking off his mask on Monday as he posed for photos from the balcony above the South Lawn. After landing in Marine One, Trump walked up the stairs of the South Portico, removed his mask and looked over the balcony.

The president was near an official photographer, and other staffers could be seen behind him. He did not put his mask back on as he turned to walk back into the White House.

Trump went to Walter Reed late Friday afternoon, a move the White House said was done out of an abundance of caution. He spent several days at the hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19 and left on Monday. 

White House physician Sean Conley told reporters on Monday that Trump was healthy enough to leave the hospital, citing his vitals and clinical evaluations. But he acknowledged that the president, who is 74 and overweight and thus at risk for severe complications, was not out of the woods yet. 

Collins, however, added that she was “shocked” Trump was discharged from the hospital so quickly.  

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Bathroom definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Examples of ‘bathroom’ in a sentence


These examples have been automatically selected and may contain sensitive content.
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After two
months he
proposed in the bathroom at a house

The Sun (2017)

It has two bathrooms and a

Times, Sunday Times (2017)

leave the
kitchen and bathroom a
mess and it
gets on my

The Sun (2016)

If a
trip to the bathroom is
needed, so be it.

Times, Sunday Times (2016)

But don’t
go in the bathroom.

Times, Sunday Times (2017)

The house
sits in
half an
acre of
land and has
three bathrooms and three
reception areas.

Times, Sunday Times (2017)

Q We have a
leak from the shower in our bathroom down into the kitchen.

Times, Sunday Times (2016)

comes with a large panoramic roof, a well-equipped kitchen and
luxury bathroom with
ceramic lavatory.

Times, Sunday Times (2016)

The bathroom used to leak and the
wiring in the kitchen once
gave me an

Times, Sunday Times (2008)

It has three bedrooms and
four bathrooms and two
double garages.

Times, Sunday Times (2006)

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It was so
big the bathroom had to be
built around it.

Times, Sunday Times (2013)

Upstairs there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Times, Sunday Times (2011)

When he
home he is
hungry and needs the bathroom.

Trickett, Shirley Coming Off Tranquillizers and Sleeping Pills (1991)

We had no bathroom or
inside lavatory.

Times, Sunday Times (2013)

The house had
nine bathrooms and they had five

Times, Sunday Times (2011)

thought she had to go to the bathroom.

Times, Sunday Times (2015)

walking to the bathroom or kitchen.

Christianity Today (2000)

She was not
allowed to use the bathroom during the

Times, Sunday Times (2008)

It has four bathrooms and a

Times, Sunday Times (2010)

It had nine bedrooms and only two bathrooms.

Times, Sunday Times (2006)

It needs a
new bathroom and kitchen.

Times, Sunday Times (2013)

It houses the bathroom and
space that contains an
archive of their
previous work.

Times, Sunday Times (2016)

require them to
pass through a
checkpoint to
reach their own kitchen and bathroom.

Times, Sunday Times (2009)

might be
lucky and
find that it would allow an
connection for a new bathroom or lavatory.

Times, Sunday Times (2013)

You cannot go to the bathroom in the
morning because if you do it
means you not
hard enough.

Times, Sunday Times (2007)

One of the big bathroom

Times, Sunday Times (2014)

There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms, plus
gardens to the
front and

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