Picture this: You’re hungry. You could really go for a home-made grilled cheese, but you don’t have time to make one yourself. So, you hop on your smartphone, place an order, swipe a QR code from your phone when you get to the restaurant, and BAM! Your hot grilled cheese is served to you in less than 60 seconds after arriving.
Sound like a work of genius to you? Well, the man behind the concept is none other than Flip video camera inventor, Jonathan Kaplan. Yep, you heard it right. After Cisco took the Flip away from him, he changed directions completely and began working on a chain of high-tech grill cheese sandwich cafés.
The restaurant chain, appropriately named The Melt, will be opened nationwide and is backed by Sequoia Capital. While an official price tag has not been released, it is public knowledge at this point that Kaplan plans to open more than 500 locations, with each location costing somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. Clearly Sequoia Capital sees promise in The Melt.
And what geek-made grilled cheese joint would be complete without the latest and greatest equipment? In preparation for The Melt, Kaplan worked with Electrolux to build a grill for the cheeses that first microwaves them for 15 seconds to speed up the process; then toasts them for 30 seconds for a yummy, crunchy end product.
“We’re selling nostalgia and happiness,” said Kaplan. “Grilled cheese makes people happy.”
We agree, Kaplan. Who knew computer nerds could cook?