Dave Danhi Thinks Grilled Cheese Needs Veterans, And Wine

Dave Danhi has compiled a storied career as an award winning chef of renowned restaurants, including Roxbury Supper Club and Water Grill in Los Angeles. More recently, he created one of the most popular food trucks in Los Angleles, The Grilled Cheese Truck, and built his vision into a one-hundred-million-dollar IPO. I had a conversation about what is next for Dave over wine before his SouthBites presentation at SXSW Interactive.

u.s. Veterans and Military Bases

The Grilled Cheese Truck franchise plan is for the first one-hundred trucks to be run by veterans. Retired General Wesley Clark is signed on to promote the program and recruit veterans. Management of a team, maintenance of a truck, all the operations involved in a restaurant, scheduling of locations, and complying with legal requirements all come into play on a daily basis for a food trucker. Dave feels that the training, skill set, and mentality of qualified military personnel make for a model food truck franchisee. Locations are expected to be easily accessible for military bases, with airports to follow.

Upscale Grilled cheese, With Wine!

In the future, Dave plans for brick and mortar, sit down versions of the Grilled Cheese franchise, which he expects to become hubs of their communities. You might order your custom grilled cheese, then receive assistance with the best wine pairing while you wait for it to be made. A "between fast and fast casual" atmosphere will keep service simple and brisk, while patrons will feel comfortable hanging out or watching big screen televisions. Some screens will feature dedicated live feeds of social interaction, where photos and conversations are shared in real time. Gourmet food and wine in a cool, casual setting. 

Who would have thought that a simplest staple like the grilled cheese sandwich could grow from a single food truck into a multi-faceted national brand, complete with a cause. Dave Danhi saw it, and appears up to the task of making it happen. I look forward to, say, a Plain and Simple Melt of sharp cheddar...with Barolo!