Someone must have been a really big fan of Glee‘s Grilled Cheesus episode.
VentureBeat is reporting that Jonathan Kaplan, who previously founded the company behind the Flip camera, is starting a chain of grilled cheese sandwich and soup restaurants. “Good for him, grilled cheese is awesome,” you may be thinking. And yes, grilled cheese and soup is an awesome combination, but we’re not sure if it’s $10 million good. Someone at Sequoia is though – they’ve given Kaplan enough money to open 20 stores, which cost between $500,000 and $1 million to open.
Well, at least it’s better than Milanoo.
Seriously, the famed venture capitalists (who’ve funded companies like Google and Apple) probably got involved more for the mobile food aspect. The Melt – great name, by the way – is aiming to push users to ordering and paying via phone, where they’ll receive a QR code that can be redeemed at the restaurant. The Melt will have five restaurants in the San Francisco area by November with plans to open 500 locations over the next 5 years.
We know that food trucks are a big driver of mobile payments, so the premise doesn’t sound far fetched but we think the real money would be in the ordering technology. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen generated plenty of excitement in San Francisco last May, so it’s not that there’s anything wrong with the menu, but as delicious as they can be grilled cheese sandwiches everyday would probably get old (not to mention a bit unhealthy). Being able to get in and out of a restaurant with a QR code during the lunch time rush actually sounds pretty good, but only if it’s an option for the times when someone is in the mood for salad or a burger or anything else besides grilled cheese and soup.
If it catches on, maybe The Melt will be the case study for the technology, but that’s where our faith in this idea lies.
Sorry Grilled Cheesus.