For some budding restaurateurs, CloudKitchens might sound like a great way to get started. The service, owned by Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, promises restauranteurs delivery-only kitchens in rented warehouse space with low upfront fees. But a report from Inside man reveals that many CloudKitchens operators are struggling to keep their businesses alive due to a lack of both safety and technical support.
A restaurateur said Inside man she was met with a clogged sink and a dirty oven lid during her first day on the job. That wasn’t all—she also had to deal with a clogged toilet, a faulty sink, and a pile of trash in her parking lot, which contradicts the maintenance, cleaning, and trash disposal services CloudKitchens says it will provide on its website.
Issues like these drive operators away from CloudKitchens. Three former sales agents at CloudKitchens said Inside man that 70 percent of kitchen operators at their locations have thrown in the towel even one year after starting, while another salesperson told the store that 90 percent of their operators gave up within just three months.
As noted by Inside man, CloudKitchens has already been sued four times in the past year, with operators accusing the company of deceptive business practices. Nor is this report the only evidence of potential mismanagement at CloudKitchens. Another report from Inside man describes high turnover and a misogynistic internal work culture that is all too reminiscent of the toxic work environment that plagued Uber while under Kalanick.