Our History

Melting Pot® Defines the Fondue Experience

Since 1975, Melting Pot® has been the country’s quintessential fondue dining experience. Our very first location opened its doors in Maitland, Florida—just outside Orlando—with a simple menu of just Swiss cheese fondue, beef fondue, and chocolate fondue. The atmosphere was cozy and quaint, and the restaurant’s popularity quickly grew.

One enterprising waiter, a college student named Mark Johnston, saw this business boom and endeavored to open a second location. After receiving permission from the original owners, Mark enlisted the help of his brothers Bob and Mike and came up with enough funds to open Melting Pot of Tallahassee. Mark’s venture paid off; after opening in 1979, the restaurant was successful enough to warrant opening a third location, this time in Tampa, in 1981.

By 1985, after the idea had been brewing for a while, the Johnston brothers purchased the rights to Melting Pot and established an incorporated franchise company. Following a year of reorganization, research, and planning, the company began offering the enormously popular fondue restaurant as a food franchise opportunity. Seeking out energetic, passionate entrepreneurs, the Johnston brothers built a family of fondue franchisees that was excited and committed to the concept. The Melting Pot has continued to grow and is now affiliated with Front Burner, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa that is also owned by the Johnston brothers. Front Burner leverages extensive franchise and restaurant industry expertise to support The Melting Pot franchise worldwide, as well as other brands.

Consider joining our family of franchisees! Fill out a contact form today for more information about a fondue restaurant franchise opportunity near you.