“Those who fondue together, stay together.” This is a catchy line from The Melting Pot’s promotional video which sums up what the restaurant is all about. Dipping your favorite food in melted artisan cheese or indulging in fruits and desserts dipped in decadent chocolate creates a truly unique dining experience for couples, friends, and family. And if you want to get into this too, you’re in luck because The Melting Pot is available for franchising.

How much does it cost to open Melting Pot? To begin franchising, The Melting Pot requires interested franchisees a minimum liquid capital of $450,000 and a minimum net worth of $1.5 million. The initial investment range is between $1,339,023 to $1,587,201 and the franchise fee is $45,000 per unit.

Are you ready to bring the fondue dining experience to a town near you? Read on to find out more about The Melting Pot, how to franchise this restaurant, and whether or not this is the right franchise for you. You can also take our 7-minute franchise quiz to get paired with business that matches your skills and interests. 

Financial Requirements and Fees

These are the financial requirements and fees you can expect when franchising The Melting Pot:

Fees / Expenses Financial Amount
Liquid Capital $450,000
Net Worth $1.5 Million
Total Investment $1,339,023 to $1,587,201
Franchise Fee $45,000

In addition to these fees, The Melting Pot also requires royalty fees of 5% of the gross revenue and an advertising fee of 1.19% of the gross revenue.

The Melting Pot also offers discounts of 20% off the initial franchise fee if you’re a qualified veteran and minority through the VetFran and DiversityFran programs.

The term of the franchise agreement is 10 years. Renewal term is 5 years on a successor franchise agreement and there is no limit on the number of renewal terms.

Average Sales / Revenue per Year

According to reports, The Melting Pot has global sales of $123,523,252. The business saw a system-wide sales increase of up to 26% in 2021 compared to 2019.

Melting Pot Franchise Facts

Total Units 97
Incorporated Name The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.
Franchising Since 1984
Industry Full-Service Restaurants
Subsector Food and Beverage

The Melting Pot opened in 1975 in Maitland, Florida. Then college student Mark Johnston who was working as a waiter at The Melting Pot saw how the restaurant was a success and wanted to open a second location in Tallahassee. With the permission from the original owners, Mark, along with his brothers Mike and Bob, opened The Melting Pot’s second branch in Tallahassee in 1979.

The restaurant’s business was booming which prompted the Johnston brothers to open up a third location in Tampa, in 1981. The menu was fairly simple at that time which was just chocolate fondue, beef fondue, and Swiss cheese fondue. By 1985, the brothers purchased all the rights to The Melting Pot and created The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.

The Melting Pot’s concept is having fondue right at your table. Every table has a cooktop where the fondue pot is heated. Ordering the cheese fondue comes with fruit, vegetables, and artisan bread. The chocolate fondue comes with sweet desserts such as brownies, pound cake, marshmallows, rice crispy treats, and fruit. The entree on the other hand is served with vegetables and your choice of meats such as pork, steak, chicken, and shrimp. They also have a salad menu should you wish to have a plate of salad to start off your meal.

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One can order from a four course menu at The Melting Pot or choose to order from an Á La Carte menu. They also offer take-outs. The Melting Pot also has promos such as their Military Mondays, ‘Tini Tuesday, Wine Down Wednesday, Thursdate, Friendsday, and Happy Hour. There’s also a special where kids can eat free on Sundays.

To franchise The Melting Pot, fill up the form here. You’ll then be given a franchise application form which you will complete along with a background check, credit check, and a financial qualification.

If all goes well, you will be given The Melting Pot’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) which you will review. Make sure to read every part carefully. This will show you the financial details you need to know.

The Melting Pot also expects you to submit your business plan. Once that’s done, you will then be invited to attend their Discovery Day which is held every month in their headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

At this point, once you’re finally decided in becoming a franchisee, you’ll submit your entity documents and finally sign the franchise agreement. Once this is done, you’ll officially become a Melting Pot franchise owner and will get started in putting up your restaurant.

The Melting Pot also has a few requirements on the franchisees they are looking for:

  • Have either restaurant industry experience, strong financial and business acumen, a background in franchising, or all of the above.
  • Passion and commitment to exceptional customer service.
  • Have all the necessary financial capabilities required.

The Melting Pot is reportedly doing well. They have remodeled over 20 of their locations and the company expects to reach 125 units by 2026 so all rumors of Melting Pot franchises closing down may not be true. According to the company there is more room for growth.

The business is still currently headed by one of the Johnston brothers. Their Chief Executive Officer is Bob Johnston who was only 14 years old at the time when he and his brothers started The Melting Pot. The Melting Pot is run by Front Burner Brands, Inc. which is also owned by the Johnston brothers.

How Much Does Melting Pot Make in Profit?

At present, there is no current and official data on profitability per unit. We only have gross revenue numbers from The Melting Pot are $123,523,252. Considering the company has 97 locations the average gross revenue per unit works out to $1,273,435.59 annually.

Assuming The Melting Pot operates at a profit margin of 15% that would work out to $191,015 in profit per unit annually. Of course, you’ll want to made sure to review the FDD to get exact profit figures for the business. This is a back-of-the-napkin style analysis based on industry standard profit margins of a restaurant.

Advantages of a Melting Pot Franchise

The Melting Pot has several advantages that have won franchisees and customers over. Here are a few that may get you even more interested in the business.

Training and Support

When you apply to become a Melting Pot franchisee, you are assured of the quality of training they provide. The Melting Pot offers training and support in the following areas:

  • Real estate
  • Construction and design
  • Initial franchise training
  • Operations Coaching
  • National and local marketing
  • Research and development
  • Ongoing support

So don’t worry about not having the support you need when you decide to open a Melting Pot near you. Their franchise team will make sure you’re ready if you decide to open a location.

Good Reviews

The Melting Pot has good reviews from both customers and franchisees alike. Customer experiences at the Melting Pot have been positive with reviews saying the experience they had was outstanding. One even claimed that the food was delicious and that they were able to receive such an amazing service.

As for franchisees, couple Mark and Becky Chapman commented how The Melting Pot cared for them and always had their best interest in mind. One franchisee said they had that “family atmosphere” working at The Melting Pot. Employees even have a simple uniform dress code: all black from the dress shirts down to the dress pants.

With reviews like this, you can be assured that the business looks after their franchisees and also values customer experience a lot.

Unique Dining Experience

The Melting Pot isn’t just about dipping your food in melted cheese or chocolate. It’s about the experience of it all and sharing it with a date or your kids or friends and family. A lot of the reviews for The Melting Pot are how they enjoyed the experience of dining at the restaurant and it’s their major selling point. So if you decide to franchise The Melting Pot near you, you’re not only a restaurant selling good food but you’re also offering a unique dining experience.

Challenges of a Melting Pot Franchise

Does everything about The Melting Pot sound too good to be true to you at this point? Well, do know that every business has their set of challenges – The Melting Pot included. Here are a few you should anticipate.

No International Franchises

At the time of writing, The Melting Pot only has one international location and that’s in Canada. The Melting Pot seems like it’s doing so well in the United States that they could even increase their global sales if they branched out to different parts of the globe. An important part of growing a strong national or international brand requires consumers to be aware of the brand. If The Melting Pot were to expand internationally, it would increase global brand awareness. Hopefully they’ll be able to do so soon since their concept has the potential to be enjoyed by many all over the world.

Mixed Reviews on Ambiance

The Melting Pot is always the right choice for date night. It’s dimly lit with the right romantic ambiance. But some feel like it’s too dim or poorly lit. We look forward to the newly remodeled locations and new stores. Maybe they’ll have rooms with better lighting for those opting a dining experience that’s brighter.

Confusing for First Timers

When you dine at The Melting Pot, you’ll get different options on what menu to choose from. You’ll either choose from a set course menu or an Á La Carte menu.

As much as that’s enjoyable for many, one look at the menu can lead some to find this setup a bit confusing and frustrating especially if they’re not knowledgeable on some of the cheeses or ingredients to use. But since there have been lots of good reviews regarding the service that The Melting Pot offers, maybe the servers are able to help the customers order which can make things easier.

Is the Melting Pot Franchise Right For You?

The Melting Pot seems like a great franchise if you’re looking for a restaurant business that offers a unique dining experience that no other franchise opportunity can offer. What’s more is that this business is in the process of growing and expanding as well so if you do decide to franchise with them, you’ll be part of that expansion with newly remodeled stores and marketing promotions. So if you have the financial capabilities to franchise The Melting Pot, go for it.

What is an alternative Melting Pot franchise?

One full-service restaurant you can franchise that’s also a great place for date night or to bring families and friends to is Olive Garden. They’re known for their unlimited bread sticks, salads, and soups as well as their pastas.

At the moment, Olive Garden is interested in franchising internationally. But check out our guide on how to open this full-service restaurant here for more detailed information.

If its good food and a unique dining experience you’re going for, The Melting Pot seems to have it. I hope this guide was able to help you in deciding whether or not The Melting Pot is the right franchise for you.