Tampa, Fla. — The Melting Pot, the 94-unit fondue concept that provides a unique, experiential dining atmosphere, has been carefully considering its growth efforts in recent months, launching a campaign to remodel all restaurants and embracing what it has coined ‘Melting Pot Evolution.’ This year, the company will open one remodeled restaurant each week.
“2021 and 2022 were both tremendous years for the brand in terms of increasing traffic — real growth,” says Bob Johnston, CEO. “In other words, we had growth that came not just through price increases, but actual traffic increases. 74 restaurants in the network achieved all-time sales records in 2022.”
While the brand did not open any newly constructed restaurants in the first quarter of the year, there were multiple grand reopenings that took place once restaurant remodels were completed.
The new look of The Melting Pot embraces a more open, inviting dining room layout, a more designated bar area and playful elements of fire including candles and fireplaces.
“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.”
Johnston notes that, across the network, remodeled stores performed 16 percentage points better than non-remodeled locations, which is an impressive increase when juxtaposed with a largely record year in 2022. 60 existing restaurants in the network will undergo full remodel transformations in 2023.
“The King of Prussia location is a prime example of the success the push to remodel has secured for us,” Johnston says. “The brand has been there nearly two decades, and the geographic location is great, but the building needed some improvements. The franchisee said, ‘Let’s not just renovate here, let’s get a great location.’ They relocated and built out that restaurant with the newest prototype, and it’s a fine example of what The Melting Pot of the future looks like.”
The numbers prove this observation. At the end of 2022, the King of Prussia, Pa., location had a 31.2% increase in revenue and a 17.9% increase in traffic compared to 2021.
Johnston goes on to explain that the brand’s internal growth and evolution has primed it for exceptional footprint expansion, with franchise inquiries already significantly increased.
With an onslaught of franchisee inquiries, the development team is working diligently to award nine franchises to qualified investors. The concept is targeting Memphis, Tenn.; Houston; Charleston, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Montgomery, Ala., for this expansion.
As it works through this process, it is also celebrating the upcoming opening of the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company location, which will be “a training center of excellence for the brand,” and those of newly-remodeled stores as the franchisor aims to complete all remodels prior to the end of the year.
For more information, visit https://www.meltingpotfranchise.com/.
Founded in 1975, Melting Pot has offered a unique fondue dining experience for more than 45 years. Melting Pot has 94 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 www.meltingpot.com and www.frontburnerbrands.com.
SOURCE: Front Burner Brands