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Unmatched Support: How the Melting Pot Team Collaborates To Help Owners Grow and Evolve

Franchise Growth Strategist Collin Benyo is joined by Director of Operations and Development Kristy Galke to discuss how Melting Pot offers a strong investment opportunity.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 02/15/24

With nearly 50 years of history, Melting Pot, the 93-unit fondue franchise, has become an iconic brand nationwide while continuing to grow and evolve to stay current. A key component of this growth is the ongoing innovation and collaboration that takes place at the Restaurant Support Center (RSC). The team of experts at the RSC works to ensure franchisees are always equipped with the information, training and operational plans they need to maintain a successful restaurant and create the perfect night out that the brand is known for.

In a recent webinar, Collin Benyo, franchise growth strategist, and Kristy Galke, director of operations and development, dug deeper into these processes and discussed exactly how the RSC team supports franchisees.

Why Melting Pot, Why Now?

Melting Pot has grown from a single Florida location to a nationwide presence and has become the go-to spot for more than just date night. While the brand still has Thursdate events, it also hosts Best Fondue Friends Forever events and Sunday family nights in addition to the high level of service it offers every night.

This is made possible by Melting Pot’s new prototype, Melting Pot Evolution. The team recognized the changing landscape and worked to adjust Melting Pot’s visual identity and range of offerings to appeal to the modern guest.

“This is a design style that builds Melting Pots to cater to many different types of guests and how they see fondue today,” said Benyo. 

Melting Pot Evolution is one of many reasons why the brand has managed to stay current and remains synonymous with fondue dining. The brand also provides franchisees with an incredible team at the RSC, a world-class tech stack, and an operational playbook that is informed by decades of in-restaurant experience.

In 2024, Melting Pot presents an attractive investment opportunity for franchisees looking to step into a business opportunity that is both meaningful and lucrative. 

“We have the Franchise Times Top 400 ranking us at spot 233, which is 31 positions up from the previous listing, and Nation’s Restaurant News listed us as the number eight national ranked fine-dining category for their happy customer index,” said Benyo. “But another big partnership that we do is with St. Jude. We’ve been with them for 20 years, raising over $20 million.”

Incredible Support and Innovation at the RSC Level Helps Franchisees To Make an Even Bigger Impact

Melting Pot is well known in the franchise and restaurant industries, and it has made a name for itself with its charitable partnership with St. Jude Children’s Hospital. These facts alone provide franchisees a strong baseline, but ongoing support from the RSC allows the franchise system to consistently grow, developing both guest count and sales numbers.

“Our focus every day is to be strategically innovative,” said Galke. “We do consumer research with either active consumers of Melting Pot or potential consumers. We have our target demographic, and we will concept with all of them, get their opinions on what we have come up with, and from there, those are rated.”

Galke added that the team just completed this process to finalize ideas through 2027. There were 100 ideas at the start of the process, 50 were concepted and 15 were finalized. These 15 will now be worked on to ensure they are feasible before being passed along to corporate chef Jason Miller for research and development.

Once Miller determines how to add a “wow” factor to a concept, the operations team figures out the “how,” and the concept is sent to testing. 

Every time the team decides to roll out a new initiative, it’s thoroughly conceptualized, researched and developed, and tested to gauge guests’ responses before it’s rolled out to the entire network.

With this support, franchisees can rest assured that they’ll be able to consistently evolve, delivering the “wow” moments and experiences in line with current demand while still having the bandwidth necessary to develop their teams and work on the future of the business.

“We do put together the whole package for [franchisees],” said Galke. “We put together all of those pieces. As far as operations is concerned, we give all of that ‘wow,’ but also the ‘how’ regarding that.”

Growth With Melting Pot

As Melting Pot continues to expand, it remains focused on partnering with entrepreneurs who are driven to build a successful business and create the excellent guest experience Melting Pot is known for. 

Currently, Melting Pot is looking to grow in Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Houston and Fort Worth, Texas; Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; and Greensboro, North Carolina.

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