Views on 'Feeling Good' with Jonathan Kaplan
CEO, the Melt
Why a concept based on grilled cheese?
We wanted something comforting that brought back memories, yet is good for you, too. Yes it’s grilled cheese, yes it’s soup, and yes it’s salad, but you can have a whole meal for 550 calories—less than one burger at a fast food restaurant.
What is it about grilled cheese that resonates so powerfully with customers?
There are few foods as emotional. You remember it from your childhood when Mom made it while you were sick.
How has technology helped make the Melt experience a blissful one?
We partnered with Electrolux to create a grilled cheese-making machine that makes sure every melt is ready in a minute and tastes the same. We flash-freeze our tomatoes and re-thermalize them at a gentle temperature so you get the best taste—without adding sugar—no matter what season.
What else brings you joy?
I spend a lot of time on philanthropic efforts. I am a chairman of EducationSuperHighway, which aims to bring high-speed internet to every public high school in America, and I started the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund, helping people start companies. We have funded thirty-eight start-ups so far.