Fans of local grilled cheese chain The Melt may have noticed many of their stores across California have been "closed for renovations." The reason: today, The Melt announced that it would be adding burger melts (otherwise known as cheeseburgers), chicken melts, fries, and mac and cheese to the menu. The four San Francisco locations will open with the new menu on Friday, with the remaining 11 stores reopening by Thanksgiving.
According to the company, the changes are part of a plan to increase dinner traffic with meaty options like burgers, and a beefed-up offering of wines and craft beers. Since its inception, The Melt has been very open about plans for rapid growth and domination of the grilled cheese scene; perhaps the addition of burgers, chicken and fries to the fold hasten the company's plans to open more stores in California and Colorado in 2015.
Founded by tech entrepreneur Jonathan Kaplan, The Melt is also focused on increasing the technology offered to diners. When stores reopen they will feature in-store ordering kiosks, digital display monitors with menus and specials, and the "Smart Box," a mobile carrier for catering that was developed with NASA and designed to keep grilled cheese and burger melts gooey until they reach their destination. The company also plans to add a much-hyped "geo-fencing" capability, which uses to-go customers' smartphone coordinates to alert the store of their approach.