Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

AUG 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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54 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • AUGUST 2018 MELT SHOP WANTS TO TAKE THE LEAP After years of fine-tuning its operations, this New York-based grilled cheese concept plans to grow tenfold over the next five years. By Toby Weber I t would be fair to describe Melt Shop founder and CEO Spencer Rubin as a meticulous person. After set- ting his sights on a career in the restaurant industry as a child, he has spent much of his life building the skills necessary to be a success. "I decided at the age of 8 years old I wanted to own my own restaurant for some reason," Rubin says. "I was super into cooking and food. I wanted to be a chef. After talking to my uncle, he suggested I go to Cornell and study hospitality and work to become a restaurateur." That's exactly what Rubin did, enrolling in 2004. The timing was important. At that point, Chipotle was emerging as a major force in the restaurant industry, making it a hot topic of conversation and study in his classes. This, says Rubin, led him to become obsessed with the fast- casual format. While he entered college thinking he'd work in full-service restaurants and maybe attend culinary school, he left with the goal to become a multi-unit fast-casual operator. No matter how good the education, that's not your typical first job out of college. What Rubin did next, though, wasn't a first job for most aspiring restaurateurs either: Instead of getting a job with a restaurant operator, he took a job in restaurant design and construction. The real-world education he would get there, Rubin reasoned, could help him avoid the pitfalls that ruin so many operations. "Throughout college, any time I heard anyone talk about the restaurant business, they'd always talk about how hard it is to be successful and how many people close their doors," Rubin recalls. "The more research I did and the more people I spoke

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