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After Falling in Love with the Melting Pot after College, Barry Berkowitz Has Spent the Past 3 Decades Growing with the Brand

The multi-unit franchisee owns three DC-area locations independently and is a partner in four additional locations throughout the country.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 5:05AM 07/05/23

Barry Berkowitz, a multi-unit franchisee, began his journey with The Melting Pot over three decades ago. Just after college, Berkowitz was 24 years old and fell in love with The Melting Pot in Tallahassee, Florida. 

“After college, I figured it was something I was interested in doing and wanted to open one up in the northeast. I ended up in Washington, D.C. where I have three locations,” he explained. “From there, I bought and sold Sarasota, partnered with my manager to open in Annapolis and partnered with a bunch of other Melting Pot guys to open up locations in New Jersey, King of Prussia and Long Island. I just purchased Fort Collins, Colorado with the same group that I’m partnered with in the northeast.”

Over the past 30-plus years, Berkowitz has certainly seen his share of business ebbs and flows, owning restaurants through both the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID, for example, was very challenging, but Bob Johnston and the franchise community were fantastic,” Berkowitz added. “We had weekly calls, and the leadership team talked a lot of people off the cliff. They gave good legal advice, lease advice and personal advice to keep us all sane and on the same page. They’ve been there for us and are really easy to work with.”

As he continues to grow, Berkowitz says he is working to remodel one of his locations, and the Fort Collins restaurant that he recently purchased with his partners was already remodeled and “was experiencing pretty good growth.”

The series of Melting Pot remodels, something the franchise system is calling “Melting Pot Evolution,” has been incredibly successful, propelling many franchisees forward with a refreshed look, appealing floorplan and, consequently, an increase in traffic.

Looking to the future, Berkowitz says he is considering selling some of his restaurant shares to the respective local managers.

“I’ve already started stepping out a little bit and not doing the day-to-day as much,” he said. “I’m getting the managers more involved.”

With the right operators and partners, he says, he has been able to succeed with restaurants across multiple states. Even though he can’t be in all of the markets at once, a strong store-level team continues to drive the restaurants forward, much due to their own investment in the success of the restaurant and larger brand.

“It’s all about the people. You can tell in any business. There’s a saying that Bob pushes: ‘Family and belonging,’” Berkowitz said. “I can honestly say that they walk the walk. It’s a family business all the way; all of my partners are Melting Pot guys. We travel together…it’s a true family. That just doesn’t happen on its own. That comes from the top.”

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