Collins

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

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

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