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JustCook Kitchen: Episode 3: A Sneak Peek at the Features

Meet Maëlle "The Bistro Badass" Marketing the Biz

In Episode 1 we talked about the JustCook Kitchen concept and team, and in Episode 2 we got a glimpse at the work/life balance of the entrepreneurial mission behind the scenes.

In Episode 3, we get a sneak peek on the business model behind the scenes with Maëlle Pique, (aka“The Bistro Badass”) CMO of JustCook Kitchens!  Maëlle shares theirbusiness concept highlights of the business model, for the 5th Street Food Hall features and the services provided for the 4 chefs and 4 kitchens (all under one roof)!

So what’s included in the features for chefs who decide to lease space at the 5th Street Food Hall with JustCook Kitchens?

  • Instead of having all the upfront costs of setting up a restaurant, you can lease the space fitted up with your own kitchen and a shared common area for dining, a bar, and eat in or pick up (and delivery) services.
  • Along with the lease, they will help to manage staffing operations and food costs
  • Don’t forget about marketing! Now that customers are online, chefs will receive branding and marketing to have their restaurants known about town.
  • So where do their technology features come in? With 4 kitchens and 4 chefs, technology will help to capture economies of scale to reduce food costs, identify the most popular dishes, and the logistics and analytics information to provide current and key information for the chefs!
  • And what about the cuisine? Stay tuned to find out who will be the 4 chefs and what culinary ideas will they bring to 5th Street Food Hall!

Oh yes, one more good thing about the business team at JustCook Kitchens running the operations behind the scenes for the chef – the JustCook Kitchen team have not hired robots as they love being human!  At least Luke Butterworth (whose brother is a chef) as the COO has not included any in their plans for their business model….yet!  They love human chefs too much to do so!

About the 5th Street Food Hall

Image Credit: JustCook Kitchens

JustCook Kitchens brings to Chefs starting up or who want to cook but not finance and build their own restaurant, a way to have four chefs cooking in four separate kitchens to create four different culinary menu offerings under one roof!  All they need now is four chefs (and maybe their sous chefs) for the 5th Street Food Hall to happen!






Jennifer’s Blog:

Image Credit: FutureCite Inc

We’re looking to partner with chefs to bring them collective benefits and bargaining power; the kind of benefits they would get by opening up a franchise for example, without having to be part of a chain. Allowing them to explore their creativity and focus on their craft while we take care of the business side of things. By focusing on lowering the barriers to entry, we want to give talented chefs a chance to realize their potential without having to risk it all, and help them make more money by running alongside other restaurants. This enables them to share the costs and loads that each restaurant would normally need to take on all on their own, making their dollar go much farther.

We designed this model, the technology, the customer experience, all during the COVID pandemic, so we built this to be pandemic-proof.  The food hall format is innately take-out and delivery oriented – and we’re building the technology from scratch to support it. There is an eat-in area, which will also have a fantastic atmosphere for when things return to a state when dine-in is safe, but until then, our food hall will be able to operate during these uncertain times.

Maëlle’s Blog:

Image Credit: FutureCite Inc

Opening your own restaurant is not only hard, but also costly. Between the steep start-up costs, the mountain of paperwork, the endless negotiations with landlords or insurance companies, and the additional costs and responsibilities brought on by the front of house staff, many chefs get discouraged and give up on their dreams.

This is where JustCook fits best. The spotlight is given back to the chefs when they join our food hall and they are empowered to, well, just cook.

As a food hall, we’re bringing four kitchens / restaurants into a single space. Where we believe we’re unique is on three main points:

  • We will be focusing on local chefs as our longer-term tenants, as we want each of our locations (to come) to be truly unique and representing the area/city they’re in.
  • We have designed our in-house technology with both the chef and the customer experiences in mind. We want our web-app to help the chefs make data-driven decisions to improve their processes while offering a seamless ordering experience for customers.
  • Finally, we’re looking to create the best synergy we can between the kitchens/restaurants. We are not only looking at each chef individually, but also in relation with the other three kitchens. We want our food hall to bring better value/success than each of the restaurants would get individually.

JustCook Kitchens takes care of most of the business side of running a restaurant, including the backend staff (dish pit, bartenders, and delivery drivers), support for branding and marketing, and our in-house technology designed for the best chef and customer experience.

About Jennifer Keith, Chief Executive Officer
“The Fire Starter”

Image Credit: Just Cook Kitchens

Jennifer has always had an interest in entrepreneurship that was seeded in childhood as she watched her family start and operate businesses related to travel and food. She holds an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the U of A and she has been focused for years on identifying opportunities to help small to medium-sized businesses thrive.
Her life vision is to be a force of positive change in the world through her skills and business acumen, and she dedicates herself to projects and ventures that she believes can make a meaningful difference to her local community and beyond.

About Luke Butterworth, Chief Operating Officer
“Mr. Subzero”

Image Credit: JustCook Kitchens

Luke is a serial entrepreneur that thrives on innovating in markets that excite him, including automated supply chains, autonomous vehicles, health and food tech. As an EMBA graduate from the U of A, and Next36/AI alumni there is nothing Luke enjoys more than entrepreneurship. With a chef for a brother, he has grown to love and appreciate the challenges involved in bringing new food concepts to life with the current ecosystem tools.


About Maëlle Piquée, Chief Marketing Officer
“The Bistro Badass”

Image Credit: JustCook Kitchens

Born and raised in France, Maëlle moved to Canada to pursue an MBA in International Business. With experience in marketing, including within the wine and spirits industry, she has witnessed the opportunities and challenges associated with starting new businesses or bringing innovative ideas to life. She loves bringing her expertise in marketing and communication to help businesses and non-profit organizations thrive and bring positive change.

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