Krave, a new virtual food hall from Urban Taco founder and Dallas restaurateur Markus Pineyro, is getting closer to dishing out takeout. Co-founder Pineyro announced the project in May of last year, and now what he’s dubbing “the restaurant of the future” is slated to open in early June at at 3510 Ross Avenue in Dallas.
Instead of a food hall where diners can walk around the stalls and sit down together and eat, Krave is building on the innovations that restaurateurs have launched during the past two years. Krave diners will walk into the lobby, order at a kiosk, choose between multiple cuisine options and then snag their food from temperature-controlled food pickup lockers using a QR code (with little to no human interaction), and can even pay with cryptocurrency.
Or they could use Krave’s app and get whatever they want delivered directly to them. One 1,400-square-foot central kitchen turns out food from all the different food companies at Krave, and this can be convenient for ordering for a picky group.
“For example: the dad wants tacos, the wife wants salad and the kids want chicken nuggets. They can go to our platform, order that through our digital food hall and we will deliver the food to their home,” Pineyro explains to Eater.
When Krave opens, its offerings will include national sandwich shop Which Wich, Austin-based fried chicken chain Flyrite, ice cream shop Pokey O’s, juice shop Tribal Cold Pressed Juices, Momo Shack Dumplings, Paciugo Gelato, and Urban Taco.
These food options weren’t chosen on a whim: “We worked with an analytics company that surveyed the entire metroplex, and based on about 90 different touch points, this company told us exactly the type of food that we need to have based on our location,” says Pineyro. Krave picked its location via data analytics as well.
The plan is to launch with six different food options at Krave, and eventually grow to eight brands. One of the things Pineyro is excited about with the digital food hall idea is the ability to easily add new concepts and on-the-rise chefs into the fold (like pop-up Nepalese dumpling company Momo Shack, led by three first-generation immigrants).
“We don’t have to go out and build a brick and mortar restaurant. We can launch a digitally within three-to-four weeks. That’s the beauty of what we are doing,” he says.
Correction: April 4, 2022 12:15 p.m. Clarified Krave’s physical location