Reef Technology President Michael Beacham Out at Ghost Kitchen Startup4 min read
- Reef has replaced president Michael Beacham, who spearheaded bargains with vital chains like Wendy’s.
- “Reef is picking out to stop my employment right before I was equipped to thoroughly complete the mission,” Beacham explained.
- The departure will come as the ghost kitchen area startup slowed its growth and laid off 750 men and women.
Reef Technology, a ghost kitchen area startup backed by SoftBank, has ousted a key executive who spearheaded essential licensing partnerships with major restaurant chains this kind of as Wendy’s and TGI Fridays, Insider has learned.
Cafe field veteran Michael Beacham, who most not too long ago held the title of president of kitchens at Reef, claimed in an exclusive assertion to Insider that “Reef is picking out to end my employment.”
“I expended the past 18 months, doing the job day and night and touring the world, hoping to build a world-course food items and beverage executive workforce. I used my thirty years of personal and experienced industry associations to convey the most recognized brand names into the REEF ecosystem,” Beacham explained to Insider. “It is regrettable that REEF is deciding upon to finish my work before I was able to fully full the mission I came in this article to realize. There is more to this story and to what took place to me, which will occur out at the appropriate time.”
His last working day is June 12.
Beacham, who on a regular basis represented Reef at marketplace conferences, has been quietly replaced with Kenneth Rourke, who is now president of kitchens and retail at Reef. Rourke’s previous title was govt vice president and head of business makes. Right before becoming a member of Reef, he was president at the experiential cafe team Barton G.
Reef declined to go on the file about the departure, only confirming that Beacham is leaving and has been replaced by Rourke. The news will come a thirty day period after the ghost kitchen enterprise minimize 5% of its workforce in early May possibly.
A recent functions manager mentioned Reef was seeking for a fall dude for its operational difficulties and Beacham took the hit. “While not a terrific chief, Michael did not singlehandedly make each poor decision for the company,” the supervisor said. “There are far more management roles than actual functioning roles at the firm, so right until Reef starts off cleansing home at the leadership degree, we will continue to keep observing the very same troubles. It really is a shame Michael is taking the backlash solo when so several people in management are instantly dependable.”
The manager questioned to continue to be nameless because they are not approved to talk to the press, but their identification is recognized to Insider.
Beacham had many years of expertise in the restaurant sector, previously holding government positions for the dad or mum companies of Olive Garden, Chuck E Cheese, and Hard Rock Cafe (exactly where he and Rourke have been coworkers). He started off doing work at Reef in Oct 2020, a month right before the Miami-dependent startup landed $700 million in funding led by SoftBank.
In February 2021, Beacham replaced Bruce Schroder as president of Reef. In the course of his tenure, he oversaw huge progress at Reef, which operates mobile trailers that market food for supply as a result of apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats.
Beacham was liable for placing partnerships with high-profile restaurant chains like Burger King, Popeyes, and Subway, as properly as superstar-backed shipping-only brands like MrBeast Burger and Person Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen area.
Reef’s cellular kitchen area vessels are usually established up in parking a lot managed by Reef, formerly regarded as ParkJockey. Reef grew from 100 kitchen area vessels in late 2020 to 320 kitchen vessels running in the US and globally in late 2021.
In January, Reef quickly shut about a person-third of its food items trailers for underperforming. Close to the similar time, the corporation commenced stepping up its partnerships with huge company brands like Wendy’s, which built a lot more money when compared to virtual makes.
But the startup’s rapid growth has been hounded by operational chaos and missteps, as documented by Insider. The firm has been caught working trailers with no permits in a number of US metropolitan areas, has been cited for violating food stuff basic safety protocols, and has been accused of stiffing vendors.
Most just lately, Insider reported that true-estate firm JLL sued Reef, alleging nonpayment of invoices totaling about $3.5 million. This week, Reef filed a motion to dismiss the JLL accommodate, stating the complaint consists of “several lethal flaws.”
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