The Plate Topper, an innovative kitchen product that gained recognition on the popular entrepreneurial reality show, Shark Tank, has had a noteworthy journey since its TV debut. The Plate Topper, a practical device designed to transform a plate into an airtight storage container, was pitched by inventor Michael Tseng on the show, catching the attention of “Shark” Lori Greiner.
Since then, the company’s trajectory has been of interest to many, from potential investors to curious consumers. After securing an investment deal on Shark Tank, there have been various updates about the company’s progress, successes, and challenges.
This article delves into the intriguing post-Shark Tank journey of Plate Topper, tracing its development from a promising pitch on a reality show to its current status in the competitive market. Through multiple sources and reports gathered over time, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of what happened to Plate Topper after its moment in the Shark Tank spotlight.
What Is Plate Topper?
Furthermore, Plate Topper excels in extending the shelf life of food, outperforming conventional preservation techniques. As a result, households nationwide are minimizing food waste. Following its successful stint on Shark Tank, Plate Topper has emerged as a highly coveted item in kitchenware boutiques, thanks to its uncomplicated yet efficient construction.
Design and Functionality
The Plate Topper, at first glance, is a plastic half-storage container . But the genius lies in its simplicity. This product is designed with a suction device that allows it to fasten securely to any plate, creating an airtight seal that keeps your food fresh for longer.
Its design is convenient and user-friendly, ensuring easy storage and reducing the need for additional containers. The Plate Topper offers a solution to the age-old problem of trying to balance a plastic wrap or foil over your plate without it touching your food.
Performance and Utility
One of the highlights of the Plate Topper is its versatility. It can be used with various plate sizes, and its transparent design allows you to easily see what’s inside, eliminating the need to remove the cover to check the contents. Plus, it’s microwave-safe, adding another level of convenience for heating leftovers.
The Plate Topper has received widespread acclaim from customers. Many users saw this on Shark Tank and found it to be a great idea that actually works . Customers have praised the Plate Topper for its clever design and functionality, noting that it provides a solution to a common problem.
- Convenience: The Plate Topper eliminates the need for transferring leftovers to another container, saving time and reducing dishwashing;
- Versatility: It fits on various plate sizes, making it adaptable to your needs;
- Freshness: Its airtight seal locks in freshness, keeping your food tasting great for longer;
- Visibility: The clear design allows you to see what’s inside without removing the cover
- Microwave Safe: It’s safe to use in the microwave, which makes heating leftovers simple and easy;
- Size: Some users have reported that the Plate Topper doesn’t fit well on larger plates;
- Durability: While the Plate Topper is generally durable, it might warp or lose its suction power over time with heavy microwave use;
- Storage: When not in use, its dome-like shape can take up more storage space compared to flat, stackable lids;
- Price: Compared to traditional plastic wrap or foil, the Plate Topper may be a more expensive upfront investment;
- Cleaning: Some users have noted that cleaning the Plate Topper, especially the suction area, can be a bit challenging ;
Who May Benefit From Using Plate Topper:
- Busy Individuals: For those who are always on the go, the Plate Topper can help save time spent on transferring leftovers to separate containers or struggling with cling film;
- Health-conscious Eaters: People who like to portion out their meals may find the Plate Topper helpful. It allows you to store leftover portions directly on the plate, making it easy to control portion sizes and prevent overeating;
- Families: The Plate Topper can be a great tool for families, especially those with children. It can keep food fresh for picky eaters who might not finish their meal in one sitting;
- Students & Office Workers: Those who often bring lunch to school or work can use the Plate Topper to easily transport their meals without worrying about spills;
- Environmentally Conscious Individuals: As a reusable product, the Plate Topper is a more sustainable alternative to single-use plastic wrap or foil, appealing to those trying to reduce their environmental impact;
- Microwave Users: For those who frequently use a microwave for heating up leftovers, the Plate Topper’s microwave-safe feature can be a major advantage ;
About the Founders Of Plate Topper
However, despite his promising career in medicine, Michael made the unconventional choice to forgo a medical residency and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. Today, he proudly serves as the CEO of Prestagon LLC, the company behind Plate Topper.
The genesis of Plate Topper can be traced back to Michael’s innovative mind. While he was away from his university and residing in his hometown, a groundbreaking idea began to take shape. It all started with the concept of a suction plate, which he later ingeniously combined with the idea of a microwave-safe plate cover.
Michael’s journey into the world of kitchenware innovation began seven years ago, but he officially entered the business just a year ago. His inspiration came from observing the challenges people faced with traditional food storage containers. It became apparent that standard lids were often misplaced, and plastic containers suffered from frequent wear and tear. The result was messy microwave spills, leading to frustrating cleanup tasks.
In response to these common issues, Michael Tseng conceived Plate Topper as a solution to create a cleaner and more convenient kitchen environment. The Plate Topper not only prevents spills in the microwave but also maintains food freshness. Its versatility extends to microwave use and dishwasher-friendly cleaning, making it a practical and durable addition to any kitchen.
To safeguard his groundbreaking invention, Michael secured a patent, ensuring that Plate Topper remains his intellectual property. Before even appearing on Shark Tank, Plate Topper had already made its mark on platforms like QVC and Walmart, showcasing its exceptional product quality and market presence .
The Pitch Of Plate Topper At Shark Tank
Michael Tseng confidently entered the Shark Tank, warmly greeting the panel of Sharks. He introduced himself and initiated his pitch, seeking a $ 90,000 investment in exchange for a 5% equity stake in his company, Plate Topper .
Michael immediately highlighted the flaws in conventional food storage methods, such as plastic wrap and Tupperware, emphasizing the common problem of plastic lids disappearing. He went on to deride plastic wrap as a messy inconvenience, using a visual aid of scattered plastic wrap and a messy microwave as evidence.
To demonstrate Plate Topper’s effectiveness, Michael placed a small plastic container with a handle on a plate, showcasing how the seal was strong enough to lift the entire plate. He emphasized Plate Topper’s microwave safety and ease of removal using the pull tab.
Continuing his presentation, Michael stressed the simplicity of cleaning the Plate Topper, as it was dishwasher safe. He touted its benefits, including preventing microwave spills and keeping food warm after heating. He also highlighted its easy storage as the Plate Toppers nested neatly in cupboards.
In a somewhat infomercial-like tone, Michael teased the Sharks, saying, “But wait, there’s more”, which elicited laughter from the panel. He unveiled three new Plate Topper variations: the Plate Topper Mini, a slightly larger size, and the Cake Topper, which revealed a cake beneath it. The Sharks reacted with enthusiasm to these innovations.
Michael mentioned that he already had purchase orders from two major retailers and emphasized the need for the Sharks’ assistance in fulfilling these orders.
After concluding his presentation, Michael handed out samples of Plate Toppers to the Sharks, who eagerly examined them. Lori inquired about the retailers where Plate Topper was available, and Michael mentioned that the product had been featured on QVC and Walmart’s website. However, Lori pressed further, asking about physical retailers.
Robert praised the product’s elegance compared to plastic wrap and its disposable counterparts, expressing his disdain for plastic wrap. Michael shared that he came up with the concept during a college break and combined the idea of a suction plate with a microwave cover.
Lori inquired about Michael’s background in engineering or product development, to which he revealed his studies in electrical engineering at Princeton University and later in biochemical engineering and medical school. Daymond seemed impressed by Michael’s educational background.
When Kevin playfully referred to Michael as “Dr. Plate Topper”, Michael clarified that while he was a physician on paper, he was not currently practicing medicine. He mentioned that he took a year off from his medical practice to fully dedicate himself to entrepreneurship. Michael also pointed out that he held a Utility Patent for a Plate Topper.
Kevin asked about the best-case sales scenario for the next 12 months. Michael disclosed that he had received purchase orders totaling over a million dollars in just four months, with $ 500,000 in profit. Kevin praised the product but offered a deal where he would take a 5% royalty instead of equity, claiming that he was more interested in Michael himself and his involvement in marketing the product on QVC.
Daymond commended Michael’s intelligence but accused him of being greedy and stated his desire to be Michael’s partner. However, Daymond called Michael out for offering the Sharks a low equity percentage of $ 90,000 in exchange for 5% of the company. Daymond walked away from the deal, and Michael attempted to engage him but was unsuccessful.
Lori, appearing frustrated, revisited her offer, proposing $ 900,000 for a 30% equity stake and outlining her plans to create a separate infomercial and leverage her retail connections. Daymond countered with a $ 1 million offer for 25% equity but emphasized that he didn’t have Lori’s extensive connections.
Kevin contemplated making an offer but ultimately decided against it, stating that all roads led to him for a royalty deal, and he wouldn’t accept equity.
Lori, feeling exasperated, suggested reverting to her original offer of $ 90,000 for 5% equity . Kevin urged Michael to make a decision, and Michael, under pressure, accepted Lori’s offer. Afterward, Robert expressed his shock at Lori’s decision to invest, while Daymond shared his frustration with Michael’s negotiation tactics. Lori defended her choice, emphasizing her belief in the product.
As Michael left the Shark Tank, he seemed relieved to have secured a deal with Lori, and the Sharks continued their discussions about the pitch.
Plate Topper After The Shark Tank
Despite the negotiations, it seemed that Michael Tseng’s Plate Topper had some potential by the end of the Shark Tank episode. However, shortly after the show aired, Lisa Greiner took to her Twitter account to announce that the deal had fallen through: “Regrettably, I didn’t quite appreciate his tactics either; the struggle didn’t end in the tank. I’m out”.
Although the tweet has since been removed from Greiner’s Twitter feed, it’s still visible on the Shark Tank Blog, which managed to secure an interview with Tseng around the same time.
According to the creator of Plate Topper, the post-show developments were quite different from what viewers saw on TV. He stated, “As I mentioned before, it’s impossible to separate the negotiations that happen during and after the show before it airs, but that wasn’t fair. Lori insisted on having exclusive decision-making authority over the company for a full year before finalizing the deal we made on TV,” he shared.
“I consulted with my lawyers… and no venture capitalist would try to control a company before investing. I attempted to negotiate a shorter period with her, but she wouldn’t agree. I believe it’s patronizing to suggest that my ‘antics continued after the show.’ There was no way I would agree to that.”
It appears that Greiner’s involvement was just not meant to be. While Plate Topper may not be classified as one of the food-related disappointments on “Shark Tank”, the situation was undeniably a setback.
Furthermore, the airtight plate cover designed to simplify food storage has undergone a rebranding as well. Instead of being known as Plate Topper, the product is now called MyTopper.
In addition to the original item, customers can now purchase the IceTopper, a stackable ice cube tray available in various sizes and bundles. Tseng managed to keep his company afloat despite losing Greiner’s support.
Michael Tseng’s future plans remain somewhat mysterious, aside from expanding Prestagon, Inc.’s product portfolio. According to Tseng’s LinkedIn profile, he still holds several patents and trademarks and is actively involved in developing Prestagon, Inc.  Moreover, the company maintains an active presence on social media, thanks to Prestagon Pets’ Facebook page.
In any case, Tseng’s legacy endures, and he used his 2012 interview with the Shark Tank Blog to provide advice for other entrepreneurs.
The Net Worth Of Plate Topper
Alternatives To Plate Topper:
- Press ‘n Fresh Universal Vacuum Air-tight Food Sealer Container Plate Platter Lid Cover Topper Dome: This product seems to offer similar features to the Plate Topper. It creates an airtight seal on your plates to keep food fresh and is also stackable, dishwasher safe, and BPA free;
- 2pk Plate Topper Microwave Food Cover Set (Mini and Tall): This set includes two different sizes of plate toppers, offering more flexibility depending on the amount of food you need to cover;
- Plastic Wrap: Plastic wrap or cling film is a commonly used option to cover plates and bowls. It provides a tight seal to keep food fresh;
- Reusable Silicone Lids: Silicone lids come in various sizes and can create an airtight seal over plates and containers. They are washable and eco-friendly;
- Tupperware Containers: Tupperware and similar brands offer a range of food storage containers with airtight seals to keep food fresh;
- Glass Food Storage Containers: Glass containers with locking lids are an excellent choice for storing leftovers and meal prep. They are microwave and oven-safe;
- Aluminum Foil: Wrapping plates with aluminum foil can help trap heat and moisture, similar to Plate Topper;
- Vacuum Sealers: Vacuum sealing machines remove air from bags or containers to extend the shelf life of food significantly;
- Bee’s Wrap: Bee’s Wrap is a reusable and eco-friendly alternative made of organic cotton infused with beeswax, resin, and jojoba oil. It can be molded to cover plates and bowls;
- Silicone Stretch Lids: These stretchy silicone lids can fit over various container sizes and provide a secure seal;
- Food Storage Bags: Ziplock-style food storage bags can be used to store and seal individual portions of food;
- Snap-On Plastic Lids: Many kitchenware brands offer snap-on plastic lids designed to fit their own line of dishes and bowls;
- Cloth Napkin or Towel: Placing a cloth napkin or towel over a plate can help trap heat and moisture, although it may not create an airtight seal;
- Mason Jars: Mason jars are excellent for canning and storing various food items, from sauces to grains ;
- Are Plate Topper products safe for your household?
Yes, Plate Topper products are generally safe for your household. They are made with microwave and dishwasher-safe plastic and feature silicone edges to create an airtight seal. However, as with any product, it’s always important to use them as directed to ensure safety.
- Is Plate Topper available for sale right now?
Plate Topper products appear to be available for sale on various online retail sites such as Amazon.
- How much did Lori make from Plate Topper?
The specific financial details about how much Lori Greiner has made from the Plate Topper deal are not publicly disclosed. However, she invested $ 90,000 for 8% equity in the company during its appearance on Shark Tank .
- Is Lori a millionaire?
Yes, Lori Greiner is a millionaire. Her net worth is estimated to be over $ 100 million, which she has amassed through her successful career as an inventor, entrepreneur, and television personality.
- Have any Shark Tank deals gone bad?
Yes, not all Shark Tank deals have been successful. There have been instances where deals fell through after the show due to disagreements or the discovery of issues during due diligence.
- How real is Shark Tank?
Shark Tank is a reality TV show, and while the pitches and negotiations are real, they are edited for television. Additionally, deals made on the show are not finalized until due diligence is completed after filming.
- How much do “sharks” get paid?
While specific figures are not publicly disclosed, the sharks are reportedly paid per episode by ABC, in addition to any potential investment profits they make from the businesses they invest in on the show.
- What is the biggest business on Shark Tank?
The most successful business to come out of Shark Tank is reportedly Scrub Daddy, a company that produces a texture-changing household scrub product. As of 2019, Scrub Daddy had over $ 209 million in sales .
- Has anyone sold their business on Shark Tank?
Yes, some entrepreneurs have sold their businesses after appearing on Shark Tank. For example, Groovebook, a photo-printing app, was sold to Shutterfly for $ 14.5 million after getting a deal on the show.
- What percentage does Shark Tank take from each business?
Shark Tank itself does not take a percentage from each business. However, the sharks, as individual investors, negotiate for a percentage of equity in the businesses they invest in during the show. The percentage varies depending on the deal.
Useful Video: PlateTopper Infomercial