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The Melt Hires Ralph Bower as CEO, Upgrades Store Design

Ralph Bower was named CEO of The Melt. Former CEO and founder Jonathan Kaplan will continue on as chairman of the board.

Bower brings more than 25 years of experience in the fast-casual and quick-service restaurant industry, most recently as CEO of Asian-inspired Pei Wei. Additional experience includes Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Yum! Brands Inc., KFC Corp. and Domino’s Pizza.

Based in San Francisco, menu specialties at fast-casual chain The Melt include artisanal cheeseburgers and grilled cheese melts. With three additional Houston locations in the works, the chain should total 20 stores in 2017.

The Melt’s refreshed approach to store design, set to wrap up by yearend, features a warmer setting with flexible seating and kiosks for ordering. Back-of-the-house changes include kitchen equipment upgrades and the addition of video technology in the kitchens.