9/06/2012 04:30:00 PM

The Melt Hops On The Bus (Wagon), Rolling Out A Fleet of Mobile Branches

The Melt, that venture capital-backed hi-tech grilled cheese chain eyeing world domination is taking its burgeoning empire to the next level-or should we say to the streets? Founder Jonathan Kaplan (aka Flip mogul) just announced a five-year plan to roll out a fleet of 100 refurbished yellow-school buses-turned-mobile-grilled-cheese-trucks outfitted with the chain’s state-of-the-art cooking and high-tech order technology.

While these food-trucks-on-steroids may rankle some as co-opting the scrappy street-food culture, there’s no denying that the ability to pre-order your gooey cheese sandwiches and circumvent the usual food-truck lines is a boon to workers on tight lunch break. And unlike the nomadic schedules of Del Popolo and Curry Up Now, there’s no need to follow The Melt on Twitter because the buses will have permanent parking places and should be at the same location for most of the day everyday, though we’re told they might move around a little, serving breakfast in one spot and lunch in another. Sadly, there’s no bouncing on the seats or eating inside allowed on the buses, but The Melt will provide some tables and chairs outside, which is a step up from the usual cop-a-squat food truck set-up. 

The first of these mobile cheeseries will be making its debut this Sunday at the Giants home game floating on a barge on McCovey Cove outside AT&T Park (where the only lucky people to actually sample the food will be those crazy kayakers who freeze in the fog waiting in vein to catch a splash hit). The company plans to roll out the first two buses in San Francisco and have nine in service by the end of this year. The city’s inaugural bus will hit the pavement next Tuesday on a yet-to-be-disclosed street. 

If you’re familiar with The Melt (refer back to this story for a primer), you know all about the whiz-bang hybrid cooking device the restaurants use to craft the perfect, timely grilled sandwich and the QR code technology for ordering them. The restaurant’s full menu, which in addition to said grilled cheese sandwiches, also includes soups and breakfast items such as eggs-in-a-hole and banana-maple waffle melts, will be on offer (see the complete menu.)

Keep your eyes peeled for more info on the precise time and location of the next week’s bus debut.


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