Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reinventing Scene Dining Fast-casual with Technology

Then Jonathan Kaplan sold his business view HD video camera with Cisco Systems in 2009 for $ 590 million, he became obsessed with something different: the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

In particular, he is keen to perfect sandwich every time, using premium materials such as sharp cheddar, brie or Gruyère, and fresh baked bread, garlic or people with wheat bread. In the melt, a famous chain of his soup and sandwich shop in San Francisco, Kaplan not only achieved that goal, but it has revolutionized the fast-casual dining scene by technology.

The melt Customers choose to prepay online or via smartphone QR code received. When they ran into each location, they can skip the lines and scan their order in a kiosk near the cash register. As soon as the scan is processed, the chef started work using a proprietary, press panini-style sandwich of Electrolux grills use infrared heat radiation. According to CMO Paul Coletta, melt pressing the "balance two specific tasks:. Bake bread and melted cheese "and they do it perfect, from time to time, in less than 60 seconds.

The first store was opened at Kaplan Financial District town last September, on February 2012, two close and one in Palo Alto. All told, Coletta 21 stores expected end of this year. It is an ambitious plan, but thanks to private investment in the concept of Kaplan and undisclosed funding from Sequoia Capital, reportedly enough money to open 20 stores at a cost of $ 500,000 to $ 1 million each. Kaplan expects 500 stores nationwide by 2015.

Judging from the statistics surrounding the fast-casual restaurant, this ambitious plan is not a fantasy. This segment has grown nearly 10 percent faster than any other restaurant during a recession, a report from industry tracker Networld Alliance estimates that total revenue for the fast casual dining at over $ 23 billion in 2010 . Last summer, when asked why Sequoia, a technology VC heavyweight, invest in a sandwich shop, Kaplan noted the appeal of Chipotle market capitalization ($ 12.9 billion as of press time).

Coletta rejected any talk about technology licensing melt or take it to another type of food. "We have perfected the art of grilled cheese," he said. "Now we want to focus on building the brand as best we can."

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