Fondue-focused franchise concept Melting Pot was first introduced in 1975. Since then, the brand has expanded to more than 90 units in markets across North America. Those nearly fifty years of consistent growth are due in large part to the brand's prioritization of franchisee support, which Melting Pot's leadership says is critical to the brand's success.
John Crawford, Melting Pot’s Executive Vice President of Franchise and Restaurant Operations, credits the brand’s success to a multi-faceted approach for sustainable franchise development. “It leverages online technology and a state-of-the-art platform, and it’s able to localize the needs of each franchisee,” he said. “I’ve spent more than 30 years in this industry, and our system features some of the best support that I've seen.”
Melting Pot has developed its systems for support by listening to franchisees, understanding the current challenges facing all units and establishing ways for the brand to provide franchise support. The brand has a full team of franchise business consultants who are in constant communication with all franchisees, giving monthly calls (or more) to each location for any means of corporate assistance. Additional marketing and digital calls have helped Melting Pot develop a sustainable business model on both local and national stages.
“It’s important to keep your ear to the ground and understand what the current challenges are,” Crawford said. “I believe everyone in our organization truly listens to franchisees, developing an understanding for what their current challenges are. It's easy as a franchisor to be saying we want to adjust something, but it’s even bigger to make sure that compensation isn’t a huge expense to our franchise operations.”
Crawford added that Melting Pot has trained every discipline of its business to exceed expectations. “We set out to bring on the most talented people that we possibly can, providing a high level of experience and knowledge in their particular discipline,” Crawford said. “Our people understand the importance of providing tools and support, and it’s necessary for our brand to keep pushing new heights.”
The brand’s support systems were essential in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and Crawford said the brand’s adjustments were made possible through open lines of communication. “We had to pivot significantly to understand what our new challenges were, but our franchisees were able to help us make adjustments through weekly calls and around-the-clock assistance,” he said.
This has allowed Melting Pot to establish projectable growth, something that Crawford highlighted as a continual benefit of the brand. The brand’s franchise consulting team took on different roles as the needs of franchisees have adjusted, and this flexibility is something Crawford credits for the brand’s continual ability to deliver to franchises.
Crawford’s own history in the restaurant industry has progressed through a wide range of duties, including his first job as a dishwasher at 14 years old. “I just really love providing hospitality in this industry, and that applies to both customers and franchisees,” he said. “The importance of supporting your franchisees is something I have seen firsthand on many levels, and our brand has developed a great system that allows others to fulfill their needs.”
A priority on understanding challenges, paired with a proven model that delivers to customers, is how Melting Pot has shown a projectable model through nearly five decades of restaurant business. As the brand looks to the future for continued growth, it attracts franchisees everywhere because of its ability to help them make a difference.
The total initial investment required to open a Melting Pot restaurant under the Franchise Program (excluding real estate purchase costs) is $1,339,023 - $1,587,201. For more information about ownership, contact us today!