From Flip Cameras to Grilled Cheese
No, my source for this story is not "The Onion." Jonathan Kaplan, of Flip Camera fame, has a new start-up in the works; a grilled cheese restaurant chain called "The Melt."
I know what you're thinking. He sold his baby, the Flip, to Cisco. Cisco recently announced its mothballing the Flip Camera line and, well, Mr. Kaplan has clearly snapped his cap. One might say it looks like a meltdown.
But not so fast. This is less about cheese and more about creating a new business model for fast-food restaurants. "The Melt" will allow customers to put in their grilled cheese orders from a mobile device and receive a pickup code that guarantees a speedy (cheesy) meal at any nearby location.
Maybe I'm being thick, but I don't really get it. Fortunately, the VC community does. Sequoia Capital has already ponied up enough funding to bankroll the first 20 restaurants. Five will open in San Francisco by the end of the year.
I still don't get it. But, I hope it works because I love grilled cheese and the world does not need another burger chain.
Safe bet: the chain will not be sold to Cisco once it has legs.