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Melting Pot Looks to Tennessee as First Stop on Path to 125 Locations in Five Years

With emotional ties to the Volunteer State and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the fondue franchise is eyeing development opportunities in Memphis and Chattanooga.

By Chris LaMorte1851 Franchise Editor
SPONSORED 5:17PM 07/07/21

Break out your fondue forks, Tennessee. Legendary franchise fondue restaurant Melting Pot has put Memphis and Chattanooga at the forefront of its expansion plans, which seek to cross the 125 location mark nationwide by 2026.

Thanks largely to its dedicated and passionate franchise partners, Melting Pot has become synonymous with fondue dining over the past 45 years, whether for small romantic occasions or for big celebrations. The brand is affiliated with multi-brand parent company Front Burner Brands, which leverages its extensive franchise and restaurant industry expertise to support and evolve the Melting Pot franchise worldwide. 

The Volunteer State holds a special relationship with Melting Pot, thanks to its charitable relationship with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis. The franchise has raised $13 million dollars since 2003 to help St. Jude’s mission to fight cancer and other childhood diseases.

“Tennessee is like a second home to us,” said Bob Johnston, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Front Burner Brands. “Our connection to St. Jude’s goes way back. Our family of restaurants and team members are very excited to know that their dedication and hard work touches the lives of so many children."

Melting Pot sends top-fundraising team members from across the nation during the previous year's St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign to Memphis to tour the hospital and serve chocolate fondue to St. Jude patients and their families at a special fondue party.

It’s not just heart-strings that tie Melting Pot to Tennessee. With already significant brand awareness, due to existing or past locations, there is already a solid consumer-base to tap into. This, combined with the many advantages that state offers business owners, including no state income tax, being a non-registration state and seeing some of the largest and fastest growth in the United States post-COVID, makes Tennessee an opportunity too good to ignore.

“We are looking to expand our presence in the state to bring people together, creating memories and celebrating around the Melting Pot,” says Shak Turner, senior director of franchise development for Front Burner Brands. “Tennessee is an area that has strong brand awareness already and a flourishing economy, with the Southern states booming, partially due to climate and business friendly cultures, but also due to the movement of jobs.”

Additionally, the brand will be making its triumphant return to the city of Nashville after it was closed due to the Christmas Day bombing last year, proving the city remains resilient and Melting Pot continues to support the people and businesses there. 

Melting Pot is looking to open one new franchise in both Memphis and Chattanooga and is seeking franchisees who not only have a sharp business sense but also a genuine passion for making a difference with their business through its charitable efforts. 

Looking ahead, the Melting Pot team has identified several target markets primed for growth, including Birmingham, Charleston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Greensboro and Houston.

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