Take a Tour of Melting Pot with CEO, Bob Johnston

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Fondue Franchise Opportunities

Why are you interested in owning a Melting Pot?

* This information is not intended as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy a franchise. Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, If you are a resident of or want to locate a franchise in one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements and disclosure requirements in your state. Franchise offerings may be made only through the delivery of a Franchise Disclosure Document.

ABOUT MELTING POT

  • How much it costs
  • Why Melting Pot, Why Now?
  • What Sets Melting Pot Apart?
  • Why Eatertainment?
  • Why You?

Limited Time Franchise Incentive 1/2 Franchise Fee and reduced Royalty for the first two years

$1,364,389 – $2,069,638
Start-Up Cost
$45,000
Initial Franchise Fee
5%
Royalty

* This information is not intended as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy a franchise. Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, If you are a resident of or want to locate a franchise in one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements and disclosure requirements in your state. Franchise offerings may be made only through the delivery of a Franchise Disclosure Document.

Joining the Melting Pot system means joining a community of franchisees, support staff and leadership team members who are truly passionate about the brand, its guests and providing owners the scaffolding they need to carry on the Melting Pot reputation.

Recently, Melting Pot has been working to remodel restaurants throughout the entire system, bringing a refreshed look to the spaces and expanding the variety of experiences guests can take advantage of in-restaurant while staying true to the warm, welcoming atmosphere it is known for. 

Though Melting Pot is refreshing its look, it has stayed true to its model and promise to the guests, always centering high-quality meals and a great night out.

In a marketplace focused on instant gratification and a “get it now” mindset that often leads to sacrifices in quality, Melting Pot offers just the opposite. Guests long for opportunities to slow down, reconnect and truly enjoy a meal with the ones they love, and as those options become more and more sparse, Melting Pot only shines brighter.

Since its founding, Melting Pot has grown to be synonymous with fondue dining. The brand has carved out its very own niche, offering a relaxed, somewhat casual atmosphere with just the right amount of excitement to create truly enjoyable experiences. In doing this, Melting Pot has also claimed a part of guests’ hearts, evolving from a restaurant with engaging dining experiences to a concept guests feel an emotional connection to.

Franchisees are able to capture and maintain their place in local markets with the help of integrated technology tools and an unshakable dedication to support from other franchise owners and Restaurant Support Center team members.

Melting Pot leverages tools that help franchisees to stay up to date in the constantly evolving restaurant landscape, and all of these resources and systems are unified. Most notably, Melting Pot leverages a tool that gives franchisees a view of guest frequency, recency and monetary segments, allowing them to better understand — and, in turn, better cater to — their guests.

Further, other owners and support staff throughout the system bring a great sense of pride and passion with them each and every day. Everyone in the system is dedicated to doing what they can to see others succeed in their business.

The eatertainment space offers a strong investment opportunity thanks to its ability to appeal to a wider audience by offering a truly unique combination of food and entertainment that simply can’t be found in other restaurant concepts.

The vast majority of people are willing to pay more for a unique dining experience, and Melting Pot owners can capture this interest with a unique blend of necessity and indulgence. People need to eat and are, by nature, social animals that crave connection. Melting Pot not only meets these needs but also offers a level of engagement and interaction with the meal itself that, though not entirely necessary, is highly sought after.

Becoming a franchisee with Melting Pot is a transformative experience. Ownership not only unlocks the flexibility that comes with being your own boss but it creates a level of financial freedom that may be difficult to find elsewhere.

Franchisees who join the brand are able to become local heroes, feeding the appetites and spirits of their own community members and becoming a part of neighbors’ stories and celebrations through unforgettable memories.

As it expands, Melting Pot is committed to continuing its healthy growth through selective partnership. The ideal franchisee brings a deep love for service and hospitality, a commitment to creating wonderful experiences for every guest and a personal interest in being a part of the tight-knit Melting Pot community. 

Executive Q&A
executive

Executive Q&A with Melting Pot

Bob Johnston, Chief Executive Officer

1851 Franchise: Tell us about the history of the Melting Pot.

Bob Johnston: The Melting Pot was founded by two friends in 1975 outside of Orlando, Florida. My brother, Mark Johnston, who was putting himself through college at the time, was one of the first employees. Then when Mark graduated from college, he wanted to open up his own Melting Pot location. So the founders granted him a “franchise,” but really, it was a loose agreement. He and our older brother, Mike, opened that second Melting Pot on April 27, 1979 in Tallahassee, Florida, where our family was located. I was in high school at the time and wanted to support this exciting opportunity, so they brought me on to wash dishes. At that time, I didn’t have a dream to be in the restaurant industry; I just wanted a job so I could buy my first car. 

1851: What kept you around?

Johnston: As I got into guest service, I really got a charge out of it. I like to say I received two paychecks — the literal one, and also the one that came in the form of the satisfaction I got from putting on a good show and entertaining people. And although I didn’t start with a restaurant background, that’s the story of a lot of our franchisees. There’s a great emotional connection with the consumer that other brands would love to have. So that is our cornerstone. Melting Pot is not just satisfying appetites. 

1851: What are the differentiators for your brand?

Johnston: You have to start with the unique nature of the meal itself. We’re a fondue restaurant, and there’s not a lot of competition. We’ve created a stronghold in this niche by executing it extremely well. Also, our customers have developed a unique cult-like connection with us. They come for the special moments in their lives, but also when they want to make an ordinary night a little more special. They don’t want just another cooked meal. They’re hungry for an experience. So we create memories that they carry with them. 

1851: Tell me about your franchise support. 

Johnston: That’s a point of pride for us. I don't know anybody who provides the level of support and training we do. We're very committed to our franchisees, so I think that is a benefit of choosing an investment opportunity with us. The concept itself is time-tested. We didn’t just come on the scene; we’ve got the systems and processes figured out. 

1851: Who are some of your main competitors?

Johnston: For me, it’s hard to think of a direct competitor that is largely a franchise like we are. Others have compared us to the higher-end steak houses like Flemings or Ruth's Chris. Also, P.F. Chang’s and Cheesecake Factory, which is somewhat puzzling until you consider that they’re big experiences. But it’s anyone in an “eater-tainment” — which is dining plus an experience. The franchisees are looking for another, bigger level of experience. They don’t want just another sandwich shop. They want to be a big part of the community. Our franchisees tell us stories about how when they wear their Melting Pot shirt out in public — at the grocery store, or wherever — people always come up to them to tell them about how special our restaurant is to them. They want a successful, proven business model they can feel proud to tell their neighbor that they own.

1851: Who are some of your key players in leadership?

Johnston: There’s John Crawford, our executive vice president. I think he got into the restaurant industry shortly after birth. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool operator. He's committed to helping franchisees move their business further. He's one of our newer team members and moved from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and also Roy’s. Ana Malmqvist, our CMO, is a brilliant marketer trained at Proctor and Gamble and has represented multiple restaurant brands. Scott Pierce is our CFO, who comes from public accounting. And during the challenges of last year, Scott has been providing great information and support to our franchisees. He’s loyal to our brand to an unparalleled degree. Dan Stone, our chief operating and development officer, came from the hotel industry and worked at Marriott and is focused on innovation and new concept development. Bud Culp, our chief business and legal officer, has represented and been in-house counsel for a number of franchise systems.  His career has been focused on the franchise model and oversees franchise development. 

1851: And what is your role?

Johnston: I’m involved in the business every day.  As the majority owner of the company, I am in a position to clear obstacles for the team so they can support franchisees and continue to position the brand for a strong re-emergence after the pandemic. 

1851: Where do your franchise leads come from? 

Johnston: We have been on a pause for franchise growth. Historically, however, our candidates are people who have dined in the restaurant, love the format and then discover that they can own a Melting Pot themselves.  Due to the strength of the brand and our team, we have found that once a franchise candidate meets with us and we decide they are a good fit, very rarely has a candidate decided to not move forward with the Melting Pot.  

Registered Franchise States
  • Top Growth Market
  • Unavailable Markets
  • Expanding

Fondue Franchise Opportunities

Why are you interested in owning a Melting Pot?

* This information is not intended as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy a franchise. Currently, the following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, If you are a resident of or want to locate a franchise in one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements and disclosure requirements in your state. Franchise offerings may be made only through the delivery of a Franchise Disclosure Document.