Melting Pot to Open First Location in Arkansas

by Katie Lee

Bentonville, Ark. — The Melting Pot, the 92-unit fondue franchise that has built a brand around providing a one-of-a-kind experiential dining atmosphere, has signed a franchise agreement in Bentonville, Ark., to bring the first Melting Pot location to the state of Arkansas. The new Bentonville restaurant is one part of a larger-scale effort to drive franchise expansion nationwide and for the brand to reach 125 locations by 2026.

“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,” says Bob Johnston, CEO of The Melting Pot, as the brand plans to make its Arkansas debut.

A key driver of the brand’s growth in recent years has been the Melting Pot Evolution effort, a process through which the brand is redesigning, remodeling and hosting grand reopenings of every restaurant throughout the system. By leveraging a more welcoming floor plan and incorporating warm, playful elements like candles and fireplaces, the brand is modernizing its image while maintaining a strong, recognizable theme.

After a strong 2023, with over 20% of restaurants reopening after a push to remodel, Melting Pot has continued to support growth in the system; the brand is on track to see a total of 37 remodeled reopenings this year alone. The franchisor has launched a new Franchisee Growth Incentive, offering new franchisees a compelling opportunity to join the Melting Pot family. The new Bentonville location, along with all new developments, will also embrace this new prototype.

“When we started to undertake the remodel, we had a pretty wide variety of designs. The brand is a legacy brand, and some of our stores have not been updated since they opened in the early ‘80s,” says Deborah Ramos, senior design manager at Front Burner Brands. “All of the stores were well-maintained, but the system felt a bit disjointed. We’re calling this remodeling effort Melting Pot Evolution because it’s reflective of how our system is growing and changing to better serve our franchisees and guests.”

Looking to the remainder of the year, Johnston says Melting Pot aims to develop its presence in key states including Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas and Kentucky by awarding nine new franchises in key markets and opening another four.

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 92 restaurants in 31 U.S. states and Canada. Melting Pot is an affiliate of Front Burner Brands, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit, and

SOURCE: Melting Pot / Front Burner Brands

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