History of The Melting Pot
For nearly 40 years, The Melting Pot has defined the fondue experience niche across the American dining scene and now looks forward to continued domestic success as well as continued international expansion.
The first Melting Pot opened in April of 1975 in Maitland, Fla., just outside of Orlando. It was a cozy, quaint location, and its first menu consisted of just three items: Swiss cheese fondue, beef fondue and a chocolate fondue dessert. However, as the restaurant’s popularity expanded, so did its menu and ambiance.
Mark Johnston, who was working his way through college as a waiter at The Melting Pot, noticed the popularity boost and, with the help of his brothers Mike and Bob, scraped together funding to open The Melting Pot of Tallahassee in 1979 (with the blessing of the original owners in Maitland... of course). The Tallahassee location grew enormously popular, and within one year, its success paved the way for future franchise expansion.
In 1981, the Johnston brothers decided to branch out and opened their second location in Tampa. As their business grew, the brothers began to consider franchising even more stores in order to expand
Then in 1985, Mark, Mike and Bob Johnston purchased all rights to The Melting Pot brand and established The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., the new franchise company. After a year of research and reorganization, The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. began its franchise offering.
From the start, the Johnston brothers were diligent in their search for energetic entrepreneurs who were as excited as they were about the concept and its potential. Their commitment to building a close knit fondue family proved successful.
In 2010, The Melting Pot Restaurants celebrated its 35th anniversary, opened its first international location in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, signed a seven-unit deal in Mexico and opened its first Mexico location in Mexico City.
As The Melting Pot celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015, it opened its first locations outside of North America in Jakarta, Indonesia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Today, with more than 125 locations across 35 U.S states, Canada, Mexico, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and more than 15 locations in development internationally, The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. is the premier fondue restaurant. A leading polished casual dining franchise, The Melting Pot was recognized as the No. 1 casual dining restaurant in the Nation’s Restaurant News 2015 Consumer Picks report.
At The Melting Pot, fondue truly becomes a memorable dining experience where guests can discover all the ingredients for an unforgettable culinary adventure including a relaxed atmosphere, private tables, attentive service, fine wines and signature fondue courses.
The Melting Pot is an affiliate of Front Burner Brands, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla.