Can a big-time tech entrepreneur make it in the restaurant business? Jonathan Kaplan thinks so. The founder of Pure Digital, which created the Flip Video camcorder, has a new startup: The Melt, a chain of quick-serve grilled cheese restaurants that just opened its first location in San Francisco. Cisco Systems, Inc. bought Pure Digital for $590 million in 2009.
Not surprisingly, Kaplan’s restaurants leverage technology to provide innovative food preparation and customer convenience. Custom presses expedite cooking time and flavor for the grilled cheese sandwiches while mobile technology allows customers to order menu items from their computers and mobile phones. According to news reports, Kaplan plans to open 25 to 50 restaurants within the next year and about 500 nationwide within five years. Here’s an article by AP’s Rachel Metz with more details.