You’ve sold your app for $1 billion. (“It’s like Instagram, but only cat photos!”) What’s a comfortable tech entrepreneur to do next? Some turn to the culinary life. And with a famously high failure rate, opening a restaurant might be the only pursuit riskier than a tech startup.

Daniel Scholnick (far left), Trinity Ventures partner
Schmendricks this year introduced San Francisco to New York-style bagels (boiled not steamed). To keep costs down, the delivery service leases kitchen space from tech company Asana.

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

You’ve sold your app for $1 billion. (“It’s like Instagram, but only cat photos!”) What’s a comfortable tech entrepreneur to do next? Some turn to the culinary life. And with a famously high failure rate, opening a restaurant might be the only pursuit riskier than a tech startup.

Daniel Scholnick (far left), Trinity Ventures partner
Schmendricks this year introduced San Francisco to New York-style bagels (boiled not steamed). To keep costs down, the delivery service leases kitchen space from tech company Asana.

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The Hungry Entrepreneur

Schmendricks
Schmendricks

You’ve sold your app for $1 billion. (“It’s like Instagram, but only cat photos!”) What’s a comfortable tech entrepreneur to do next? Some turn to the culinary life. And with a famously high failure rate, opening a restaurant might be the only pursuit riskier than a tech startup.

Daniel Scholnick (far left), Trinity Ventures partner
Schmendricks this year introduced San Francisco to New York-style bagels (boiled not steamed). To keep costs down, the delivery service leases kitchen space from tech company Asana.

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
The Melt
The Melt
Jonathan Kaplan, creator of the Flip camcorder
Customers of the Melt, founded in 2011, can order online or via an app. On arrival, they scan a QR code on their receipt, and high-tech kitchen gear cooks their request in less than a minute.
Photograph by PRNewsfoto
Chuck E. Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell
The video game luminary combined animatronic rats with pizza when he founded the chain in 1977.
Photograph by WireImage/Getty Images
UWink
UWink
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell
Bushnell tried to replicate his success with UWink, a tech-centric bistro chain with touchscreens set into every table for ordering food or playing games. It went out of business in 2010.
Photograph by Chika Watanabe/Flickr
4Food
4Food
Rex Sorgatz, founder of Kinda Sorta Media
Adviser Sorgatz helped 4food’s owners make their burger joints social. Patrons create a burger from dozens of toppings, promote it on Twitter, and get 25¢ each time it’s ordered.
Photorgaph by Kelly Neal
Modernist Cuisine
Modernist Cuisine
Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s ex-CTO
OK, so it’s not a restaurant. But Myhrvold’s six-volume, $625 ode to emulsifiers and other staples of modernist food stems from years of experimentation in his no-expenses-spared kitchen in Bellevue, Wash.
Photograph by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images