Another food startup death: Kitchit calls it quits

There’s been another casualty in the Bay Area food startup scene — R.I.P. Kitchit.

The San Francisco-based company, which connected private chefs with customers hosting in-home dinner parties, is shutting its doors, its founders wrote in an online post.

“While Kitchit’s business fundamentals have always been strong, our scale has been too limited to outshine the tumult around us,” founders Brendan Marshall and Ian Ferguson wrote. “So we close our doors with a mix of sadness for our customers, chefs, and employees on one hand, and on the other a recognition that our market is simply not ready to sustain a venture-scale business.”

The closure comes as many startups are realizing the challenges that come with trying to disrupt the food industry. Entrepreneurs began flocking to the space a few years ago, flooding the market with apps that delivered meals, ingredients, groceries — or in Kitchit’s case, chefs. But many have struggled to scale their business models, or generate a sustainable financial return.

Kitchit competitors Dinner Lab and Kitchensurfing also shut down this month, according to reports from TechCrunch and Recode.

Berkeley-based food delivery service SpoonRocket announced it was closing last month. San Francisco-based Bento, which prepares and delivers customized Asian meals, recently moved away from on-demand service and now takes pre-orders only. And earlier this year, DoorDash failed to hit its $1 billion valuation target.

Image: Kitchit’s goodbye message (Kitchit).


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