San Fran prepare to get your gourmet grilled cheese fix. Flip Camera founder Jonathan Kaplan, along with a team that includes haute chef Michael Mina, is launching a chain of grilled cheese and soup eateries, starting with four in the Bay Area. Cleverly entitled “The Melt,” Kaplan plans to have 500 national locations up and running by 2015.
Why grilled cheese? “The whole concept comes out of the idea of trying to make people happy,” Kaplan tells Inside Scoop SF. “What I did with Flip was use technology to make people happy. Grilled cheese is like that. It’s simple food, affordable, and everyone likes it.”
A unique aspect of “The Melt” is its technology. Customers can place orders through the restaurant’s mobile app or web, but don’t have to set a specific pick-up time or location. Upon arrival at the restaurant, customers can skip the line by scanning the QR code received from ordering. The kitchen will also utilize technology from Electrolux made just for Kaplan, including modified panini presses that can produce melts in less than a minute and use little butter.
Leases for three of the four Bay Area locations have already been signed, all located in downtown San Francisco: 115 New Montgomery, 1010 Embarcadero (near Pier 23), and 345 Spear Street (near Palomino). The fourth location is in Palo Alto in the Stanford Shopping Center. The first “Melt” is set to open in August, and all are expected to be open by Thanksgiving.
[Source: Inside Scoop SF]