A new “fast casual” restaurant has opened in San Francisco that takes advantage of smartphones to provide fast delivery of grilled cheese sandwiches. The Melt, who’s owned by Jonathan Kaplan, the man who brought us the Flip camera, has just opened. You can order your meals ahead of time on a smartphone, but they aren’t made until you arrive at the restaurant.
When you place your order on a smartphone you receive a QR code that is then scanned at any of The Melt”s four current locations in the Bay Area. Once the code is scanned the kitchen receives your order and you have the ability to pay from your phone. The idea is to provide hot and fresh meals as quickly as possible.
According to Kaplan, the meals of grilled cheese sandwiches and varieties of soups can be produced in less than 2 minutes. Not only does the restaurant use smartphones to speed up the ordering process, but it also uses special panini presses to cook the sandwiches quickly. The restaurants serves up five different types of grilled cheese sandwiches with five different soups.
At $8.99 for a complete meal, the price is high in comparison to fast food restaurants, but in line with national competitors like Panera as well as Bay area competitors. The combination of comfort food and technology make me almost want to move to San Francisco, but that might not be necessary as Kaplan has ambitions to open at 500 locations throughout the U.S.