The Melt is an interesting mix of a tech start-up and restaurant franchise with venture-capital backing, proprietary technology and a simple concept around family-friendly food. And Kaplan, along with restaurateur Michael Mina, believes that he has solved the issue of producing consistent grilled-cheese sandwiches quickly, courtesy of a partnership with Electrolux on a grilled-cheese cooker:
A machine that combines two induction burners, a microwave and non-stick pads, which allow the bread to toast while the cheese melts — without squishing the sandwich as a panini press might do.
The menu is a mix of classic, simple sandwiches and soup — a restaurant's take on what you want during a cold day in winter. It's sharp cheddar cheese and tomato-basil soup or a provolone sandwich and sausage and pepper soup. A similar concept (albeit without the bells and whistles), Cheesehead, didn't make it here in Kansas City (perhaps it was an idea ahead of its time). Do you think a national grilled-cheese chain could work?