Fast food goes high tech at The Melt

New York City -- Grilled cheese and soup is the signature calling card at The Melt, a start-up restaurant concept debuting in San Francisco with big plans for the future. The Melt expects to have five eateries up and running in the Bay Area by yearend -- with plans to expand to over 500 locations nationally by 2015.

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"Life is complicated enough…so a simple, affordable meal like grilled cheese and soup is an easy way to make people happy," said Jonathan Kaplan, founder and chairperson, The Melt. The entrepreneur is best known as the founder of Pure Digital, creators of the Flip Video camcorder.

The new venture is backed by some major players. Apple retail guru and soon-to-be J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is on The Melt’s board. Other members include Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, chef and restaurateur Michael Mina and Benchmark Capital’s Bruce Dunlevie.

The Melt utilizes custom cooking equipment that expedites cooking time and maximizes flavor to deliver a custom-ordered toasted sandwich in under 90 seconds.

The restaurant uses location-based mobile technology that allows customers to remotely order items from their computers and mobile phones. After ordering, the customer receives a QR code that can be scanned in the restaurant, enabling the customer to skip the line and quickly pick up their freshly-made order in two minutes or less.