Turn QR Codes into a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

QR codes will be used in the restaurant business at The Melt, a new grilled cheese restaurant.

Jonathan Kaplan, co-founder of Pure Digital, the company behind the Flip cam, recently started a new venture, but this time, it’s in the restaurant biz. His new restaurant, The Melt, will open early next week in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood. The appropriately named restaurant will feature everyone’s childhood favorite—grilled cheese. Ultimately, he hopes to open 25-50 restaurants within the next year, and 500 across the country within the next five years. This ambitious plan will take proper execution, but with Kaplan’s extensive technology background, combined with our nation’s love of this staple sandwich, there’s no telling what’s possible.

Despite overwhelmingly positive feedback from his market research, Kaplan still had some concerns. How would the grilled cheese sandwiches maintain the same level of deliciousness between hourly employees who weren’t professional chefs across shifts and eventually, the entire chain? Kaplan consulted with Electrolux, the Swedish home appliance maker about making a device that would create perfectly uniform, equally tasty grilled cheese sandwiches all the time, every time. They devised a machine combining two induction burners, a microwave, and non-stick pads, allowing the bread to toast simultaneously while the cheese melts. Unlike with typical panini makers, this new device would prevent the delicate cheese from becoming squished.

Once the custom device was ready, Kaplan couldn’t help bur resist using technology to set his restaurant apart from others. When ordering a grilled cheese, customers won’t have to wait in line if they don’t want to—orders can be placed directly from a smartphone via The Melt’s mobile site. Once an order is placed, a QR code will appear. When customers arrive to the restaurant, they can simply take their mobile device with their newly acquired QR code and have it scanned.

From there, an employee will swiftly gather their order and, voila! As The Melt expands, customers will be able to choose the location where they would like to pick up their order. Rather than using QR code technology for marketing purposes, Kaplan truly believes the QR codes will improve the customer experience.

And I couldn’t agree more. Best practices for using QR codes are to provide value to the consumer, which coupons and additional information may due, but providing convenience is invaluable to some. Being able to order on-the-go, without having to talk to someone that may or may not understand you and misinterpret the order is priceless—it’s convenient, requires little effort from either parties, and cutting-edge. Would you order your food this way? I would! Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.