What do you do when Cisco buys your consumer product company and abruptly closes it down? If you are Jonathan Kaplan, creator of the popular (discontinued) Flip camera line, you make a lot of grilled cheese.
Kaplan has been building a secretive start-up called THE MELT, which marries smartphones, automation and comfort food.
THE MELT is an innovative fast, casual restaurant business which serves comforting grilled cheese sandwiches that are artfully paired with seasonally fresh soups to create unexpected combos. The sandwiches are prepared on European Designed Grills that balance two specialized tasks – toasting the crust and melting the cheese. The chefs pinch the bread to form air pockets for the cheese to melt into and the Melts are finished with grated Parmesan cheese and exclusive seasoning blends to draw out the all natural distinctiveness of the cheese and bread.
THE MELT uses location-based mobile technology that allows customers to remotely place a meal order from their computer or mobile phone and pick it up at any MELT location, always hot and ready, anytime. When ordered via the mobile application, the customer will receive a QR code on their smartphone that can be scanned at any restaurant location, allowing them to pay through their phones, skip the line, and pick up their freshly made order within minutes. The company has also developed specialized cooking equipment to produce its products quickly and precisely each and every time. Melts can be created in just over one minute and soups are aerated prior to service for combinations of flavors and textures that until now have been reserved for traditional fine dining experiences. Melts will be $5 and combos will be $8
Current locations are in San Francisco and Palo Alto with plans to expand to 500 locations in the next five years.