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C3 partners with Lunchbox for new Citizens Go app for virtual-restaurant, food-hall ordering

Citizens Go connects customers with C3 network of restaurant concepts

C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) and Lunchbox have launched a new app, Citizens Go, for ordering from the platform of 200 ghost kitchens in the C3 network. The C3 platform includes virtual restaurants, like Plant Nation, Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken and ghost kitchens in Graduate Food Halls, plus brick-and-mortar restaurants, such as EllaMia cafes.

Citizens Go is available on the iPhone and Android platforms for delivery and (where available) pickup ordering in the markets of Los Angeles, Northern California, New York City and Chicago. As part of an introductory offer, users who download the app will receive a free Umami Burger with their first order.

Upcoming locations that will fulfill delivery include Miami, Austin, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Atlanta. The Citizens West food hall in Manhattan will also be part of the pickup and delivery choices on the app.

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Citizens Go was designed as an alternative to third-party apps, announced Sbe Hospitality and C3 CEO and Founder Sam Nazarian. Plus, users can add menu items from multiple concepts on one order. A loyalty rewards program, secret menu items, limited-time celebrity culinary collaborations, and added benefits for in-store visits will be additional functionality in Citizens Go.

C3 revealed its partnership with Lunchbox last October.

“Until the debut of Citizens Go, the online ordering experience has felt extremely transactional and restrictive for diners,” said Nazarian. “We’ve been able to leverage Lunchbox’s proprietary technology to transform meal delivery into an empowering, guest-driven lifestyle experience in which customers have more freedom in their dining choices and have access to an interactive culinary center at their fingertips.”

There’s another benefit to the list of restaurants, he added, in that they are all home-grown concepts by C3 and its partners. The app’s restaurant concept options, in that sense, make up a network of “pre-approved providers.”

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The Citizens Go platform will also offer dining options from smaller, brick-and-mortar restaurants, including Soom Soom, signaling a developing channel that could help partner and acquired restaurants grow by reaching new audiences and connecting them directly with consumers.

C3 also recently announced a partnership with Akara Living to service its Kenect Apartment Homes.

Lunchbox is leveraging its “omnichannel” ordering capabilities in the release of the app. These enhanced features are another way ghost kitchens will evolve direct-to-consumer relationships, brand building and guest loyalty, noted the announcement.

Nabeel Alamgir, CEO and co-founder of Lunchbox, said, “This is so much more than a delivery app. Citizens Go was born out of a shared vision between both partners to pave the way for up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs to make their brands global, before going all-in financially and operationally on brick-and -mortar. Simultaneously, it’s an incubator for entrepreneurs and the future of the ghost kitchen model.”

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The C3 venture is expanding rapidly, looking to create an entire digital ecosystem that will include both virtual restaurants and brick-and-mortar restaurants, as well as an upcoming, curated assortment of virtual concepts from well-known chefs and restaurant brands.

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