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Melting Pot Outlines Strength of Eatertainment Concepts in the Restaurant Space

Executives speak on how the unique brand offers an experience that is more than dining.

By Katie Porter1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSORED 7:07AM 09/14/22

Consumers have a bevy of options when it comes to dining options. If they are hungry and just want to grab a bite, there is a long list of cuisine choices for casual dining. But to have an engaging experience when you’re out at a restaurant — that’s not something you can get everywhere, but it’s what Melting Pot specializes in.

“While other restaurants primarily are about satisfying a physical appetite, at Melting Pot, our guests want that, but they also want it to be delicious, entertaining and interesting. They want to satisfy an emotional appetite to connect and spend quality time with people they care about and create some really good memories in the process,” explained Bob Johnston, CEO of Front Burner Brands, the restaurant management company that owns Melting Pot.

As the only fondue franchise and a place where guests can have an interactive experience, Melting Pot stands out as a unique eatertainment concept with a devoted customer base and high customer retention. 

The brand is one that people choose time and time again on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and Valentine’s Day, and their reservation is something they “circle on the calendar,” said Collin Benyo, franchise growth strategist and former operator of the Sarasota, Florida location for over a decade. 

“We bring in a clientele of people who are happy to be there; they're excited about it. It’s a much-anticipated visit,” said Benyo.

The performance that Melting Pot has experienced in the eatertainment segment has been phenomenal and “outpacing polished casual with considerable measure,” Johnston said. Melting Pot’s weekly net sales were up 41% in July with a year of year change from 2021, up 18.3%.

A big reason why the brand is doing so well is that it is wholeheartedly committed to providing a “perfect night out” for guests. And as consumers gravitate more towards splurging on experiences, they want to have a premier dining interaction rather than be served food and rushed out in the “turn and burn” busy restaurant industry. 

‘Our target audience is really interested in experiences. People want to do things that are unique and memorable. At Melting Pot, you use your own hands in the preparation of the meal. There are some great, instagrammable moments,” Johnston said. “Melting Pot is about giving the guests exactly what they want that night. We train our teams to assess that and figure out how to create that experience for them. The whole team is rallied around that.”

Because guests get the immersive experience of cooking the food, there is less labor needed for the back of the house than typical full-service casual dining or even upscale concepts. Melting Pot kitchens do not require skilled line cooks, as most cooking is prep work. This keeps overhead down and ensures customers are happy with their meals.

“We've never had a customer send a steak back because it wasn't cooked to their liking. Imagine that in a restaurant,” said Johnston. 

The niche differentiator and streamlined operations model make Melting Pot an attractive option for those looking to invest in a restaurant franchise. The brand’s flexibility makes it easy to convert existing restaurants into Melting Pots for an investment of around $400,000 to $750,000.

“We are not just another steakhouse or burger joint. When it comes to doing something different, memorable and unique, we stand out. If you’re going to make a considerable investment in developing a restaurant concept, don’t you want to set yourself apart from the competition?” said Johnston.

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 96 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 Brands

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 a second location in the Tampa, FL. area in November 2021. For more information, visit  http://www.frontburnerbrands.com

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