The iconic fondue franchise is ending the third quarter on a high note with recognition from Franchise Times, Nation’s Restaurant News and Fox & Friends.
The Melting Pot, the 94-unit “eatertainment” franchise whose name has become synonymous with fondue dining, continues to see great performance both in its restaurants and in the franchise space with positive trajectories on multiple fronts. With an appearance on Fox & Friends and recognition from Nation’s Restaurant News, Franchise Times and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the brand is seeing great results as it continues to grow and builds momentum for a phenomenal 2024.
“We’re seeing great movement from both outside sources and franchisees within the family,” said Collin Benyo, franchise growth strategist. “There are some exciting things in the pipeline for later this year and 2024. We’ve picked up good candidates and great momentum.”
Year to date, The Melting Pot has completed a total of 34 remodeled stores and has plans to complete four more this year. This is part of an effort kicked off in 2022 to bring all stores throughout the franchise system to a shared, more modern visual standard. This caught the attention of guests and franchisees alike, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to continued evolution and driving sales. Last year, over three-quarters of The Melting Pot’s restaurants achieved record-breaking sales numbers, making this year’s growth over 2022 even more impressive and indicating a bright future for the newly remodeled locations.
“In the beginning of this year, we’ve remained above both traffic and sales data compared to 2022,” said Bob Johnston, CEO. “Given that 2022 was a massively successful year, this year’s trends indicate substantial, continued long-term growth.”
The Melting Pot’s Franchise Development Pipeline Remains Strong
Earlier this year, The Melting Pot awarded a franchise to a New Haven, Connecticut pair who had been loyal guests at another location and were passionate about the brand being accessible to their own community. This is a prime example of the loyalty and excitement that exists among Melting Pot enthusiasts, but the brand’s development efforts aren’t contained to just existing owners and long-time diners.
For example, this August, The Melting Pot made an appearance on Fox & Friends, showcasing its range of fondue offerings and discussing the ownership opportunity. Johnston, alongside two top-performing franchise owners, Mark and Carla Rosenthal, joined the team for the full three-hour segment, and the magic of the concept was clearly communicated to the broadcast’s over one million viewers, driving incredible traffic for the franchise.
“Fox & Friends was a great opportunity to secure brand awareness on a national level,” explained Benyo. “And the day of the appearance, we had a monumental day in terms of franchise-related inquiries.”
Looking toward the remainder of the year, Johnston says he is confident that there is strong potential for further development in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; New Jersey; Michigan; and Reno, Nevada.
As It Continues along an Upward Trajectory, Industry Giants Are Taking Note
With its continued growth, The Melting Pot has been recognized by both Nation’s Restaurant News and Franchise Times.
Nation’s Restaurant News‘ 2023 fine-dining ranking scored The Melting Pot at 4.46, a 0.05 increase from last year, and a 0.19 leap above its all-time average. Notably, the brand boasts the highest staff demeanor score in the category.
“This is especially exciting,” added Johnston. “Not only were we rated favorably but the team recognized the improvement that the system has experienced — something we’re very proud of.”
The franchise also climbed 31 spots on Franchise Times‘ Top 400 ranking, securing No. 233. This ranking is established based on extensive research regarding system-wide sales.
As the brand’s customer service and strength in revenue are celebrated, so is its commitment to its communities.
“This year, we were named a Corporate Pioneer for St. Jude’s,” added Johnston. “We were charter participants in the Thanks and Giving campaign when it started 20 years ago, and we’re one of a few of those participants that have stuck with the program this whole time. Last year, we raised more than $1 million, and this year, we aim to raise even more.”
Each year in the fall, The Melting Pot partners with St. Jude to raise funds for research. With a $10 donation, diners receive a $20 Donate & Dine Card for use at a Melting Pot restaurant. 2024 marks the 21st year of partnership and over $16 million total raised.
Among franchisees, guests and community partners, The Melting Pot is a revered concept, and upward trends in franchise development inquiries, unit-level sales and even diners’ charitable participation are all a clear indication of the brand’s place in the market and continued favorable view.
Recently, The Melting Pot hosted its annual convention, the Melting Pot Family Reunion, and awarded two longstanding franchisees for their continued success in the system. Both, celebrating decades with The Melting Pot, are a prime example of the longevity of the model and franchisees’ willingness to renew and reinvest.
With exciting initiatives in progress for the rest of the year, the team is already looking forward to 2024.
“It’s certainly fair to say that there has been a resurgence of interest,” said Johnston, “and we’re excited to continue driving growth into next year.”
Total investments range from $1.3 million–$2 million. For more information, visit www.meltingpotfranchise.com.