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After Heating up in 2022 with 78% of Stores Achieving Record Sales, The Melting Pot Is Opening a Remodeled Restaurant Each Week Through 2023, Laying the Foundation for Exponential Growth

The fondue concept has concentrated its efforts on strengthening and modernizing the brand, and the work is already paying off.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 3:15PM 04/13/23

The Melting Pot, the 94-unit fondue concept that has built a name by providing a unique, experiential dining atmosphere, has been carefully considering its growth efforts in recent months, launching a campaign to remodel all restaurants and embracing what it has coined Melting Pot Evolution. This year, it will open one remodeled restaurant each week.

“2021 and 2022 were both tremendous years for the brand in terms of increasing traffic — real growth,” explained Bob Johnston, CEO. “In other words, we had growth that came not just through price increases, but actual traffic increases. 74 restaurants in the network achieved all-time sales records in 2022.”

While the brand did not open any newly-constructed restaurants in the first quarter of the year, there were multiple grand reopenings that took place once restaurant remodels were completed. The new look of The Melting Pot embraces a more open, inviting dining room layout, a more designated bar area and playful elements of fire including candles and fireplaces.

“When we started to undertake the remodel, we had a pretty wide variety of designs. The brand is a legacy brand, and some of our stores have not been updated since they opened in the early ‘80s,” explained Deborah Ramos, senior design manager at Front Burner Brands. “All of the stores were well-maintained, but the system felt a bit disjointed. We’re calling this remodeling effort Melting Pot Evolution because it’s reflective of how our system is growing and changing to better serve our franchisees and guests.” 

Johnston noted that, across the network, remodeled stores performed 16 percentage points better than non-remodeled locations, which is an impressive increase when juxtaposed with a largely record year in 2022. 60 existing restaurants in the network will undergo full remodel transformations in 2023.

“The King of Prussia location is a prime example of the success the push to remodel has secured for us,” Johnston added. “The brand has been there nearly two decades, and the geographic location is great, but the building needed some improvements. The franchisee said, ‘Let’s not just renovate here, let’s get a great location.’ They relocated and built out that restaurant with the newest prototype, and it’s a fine example of what The Melting Pot of the future looks like.”

The numbers prove this observation. At the end of 2022, the King of Prussia location had a 31.2% increase in revenue and a 17.9% increase in traffic compared to 2021.

Johnston went on to explain that the brand’s internal growth and evolution has primed it for exceptional footprint expansion, with franchise inquiries already significantly increased. Franchisees that are currently involved with other food concepts are shifting their focus toward The Melting Pot, and Johnston says he believes this interest is stemming from the business owners’ observation of how The Melting Pot is growing and evolving. 

Looking to the rest of the year, Johnston says the brand has laid a solid foundation for growth. With an onslaught of franchisee inquiries, the development team is working diligently to award nine franchises to qualified investors. The concept is targeting Memphis, Houston, Charleston, Chattanooga and Montgomery for this expansion.

As it works through this process, it is also celebrating the upcoming opening of the St. Petersburg-based company location, which will be “a training center of excellence for the brand,” and those of newly-remodeled stores as the franchisor aims to complete all remodels prior to the end of the year.

Total investments range from $1.3 million–$1.5 million. For more information, visit https://www.meltingpotfranchise.com/.

About Melting Pot

Founded in 1975, Melting Pot has offered a unique fondue dining experience for more than 45 years. As the premier fondue restaurant franchise, Melting Pot has 94 restaurants in 31 U.S. states and Canada. Known for offering a variety of fondue cooking styles and unique entrées, Melting Pot’s menu also features cheese fondues, salads, fine wines, spirits and chocolate fondue desserts. Fondue fans can join Melting Pot’s Club Fondue for exclusive promotions, special events and advance holiday reservation privileges. Melting Pot is an affiliate of Front Burner Brands, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit www.meltingpot.com. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Melting Pot, please visit www.meltingpotfranchise.com.

About Front Burner

Headquartered in Tampa, Front Burner is the restaurant management company for Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., the new casual whimsical dining concept Melting Pot Social and fast-casual concept  Oronzo Honest Italian! Melting Pot currently has more than 96 restaurants in 31 U.S. states and Canada. Melting Pot Social opened its first location in July 2021 in Asheville, NC. Oronzo opened its first location in Tampa, FL. in June 2020 and will open a second location in the area in October of 2021. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.

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