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AY Magazine: The Melting Pot to Open First Arkansas Location

A family team of franchisees is planning to bring the beloved fondue franchise to Bentonville.

Melting Pot, the experiential dining fondue franchise, is opening its first Arkansas location in Bentonville. The franchise is owned by a family of franchisees including Chad Hickerson; his wife, Candice Bright; and his mother-in-law, Diana Bonnett. 

“We’ve been long-time Melting Pot guests. It’s a product that we all love and believe in, and it’s something that’s particularly suited for the Bentonville area,” Hickerson told AY Magazine. “Our goal is to bring something unique to the Northwest Arkansas area. We want to bring a quality food and dining experience that will quickly become a hallmark of special occasions and even routine enjoyment for countless individuals, couples and families in the region and beyond.”

The entry into Arkansas marks a significant milestone for Melting Pot, which has been experiencing growth after a push to remodel. In 2023, over 20% of its restaurants reopened after renovations. This trend continues in 2024, with plans for 37 remodeled reopenings. Additionally, Melting Pot has introduced a Franchisee Growth Incentive to attract new franchisees, with the Bentonville location and future developments adopting the new prototype.

“After years of strong unit-level growth, we are focused on revitalizing the brand nationwide, bringing Melting Pot restaurants to new communities and reviving and expanding our presence in others,” said Bob Johnston, CEO of Melting Pot. “Chad, Candice and Diana are a strong addition to our network, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have on the Bentonville community.”

Melting Pot plans to continue growing its presence in key states this year, including Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas and Kentucky. 

Read the full article here

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