The Melt’s high-tech smartbox keeps your french fries crispy

The Melt restaurant has a NASA-inspired "smartbox" that keeps food hot, melty and fresh during delivery.

The Melt is a high-tech fast casual chain that serves up grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers and fries. They are all foods that don't traditionally work very well for delivery. But The Melt is determined to change that.

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The San Francisco based chain - started by the founder of those Flip Video cameras everyone used to have - is tackling the problem with technology. They've created a "smartbox" that incorporates heating elements, fans and an algorithm to keep food perfectly hot, melty and crispy.

The Melt employees Mike Pavel and Jonathan Martinez

The Melt employees Mike Pavel and Jonathan Martinez

Recently I tried some food that was sitting in the box for upwards of 30 minutes. I couldn't believe how the fries were still just as crispy as if they just came out of the fryer. Even the grilled cheese - which would normally be a soggy delivery mess - had crispy bread and melty insides.

the melt smartbox french fries grilled cheese

the melt smartbox french fries grilled cheese

So far The Melt has built just a handful of their Smartboxes, and they continue to tweak them. Right now they are using them for corporate catering delivery orders, but in the future they would like to make a smaller version of the box that would enable individual orders to be delivered via car or bike.

You can listen to more about The Melt and their Smartbox on my podcast, Tech Smart: America On Demand.