The Melting Pot Restaurants Overcomes Tough Economy to Wrap 2008 with Growth and Multiple Honors

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 21 // PRNewswire // -- The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. ( ) will close out 2008 with a number of awards for continued growth, company-wide success, community involvement and employee training programs, despite a year in which a troubled economy created problems throughout the restaurant industry.

These honors include the following:

  • Ernst & Young 2008 Florida Entrepreneur of the Year. CEO Mark Johnston, Chairman Mike Johnston and COO Bob Johnston were recognized as overall winners for retail and consumer products for Florida, qualifying them for the national competition.
  • Small Business of the Year for 2008. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected The Melting Pot Restaurants as the overall winner of this award based on the company's history, philosophy, business management, operational management, innovation, response to adversity and economic conditions, leadership and community contributions.
  • Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association's 2008 Hospitality Hall of Fame induction as "Restaurateur of the Year." COO Bob Johnston was recognized with this honor as an influential leader in Florida's hospitality industry.
  • Franchise Times ranking as one of the top 200 franchise chains. The Melting Pot earned this spot with nationwide sales of $220 million.
  • Secret Service Systems award. The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting organization, presented this award to The Melting Pot for developing the best service system including ideas, training, implementation, execution and the personalization of each customer's experience.
  • Mayor's award for charitable contributions. The Melting Pot received this honor for the second consecutive year after receiving the highest marks of all Tampa applicants for community involvement.

"Our growth and success can only be attributed to our constant emphasis on delivering the perfect night out for our guests," says Bob Johnston. "Many people choose The Melting Pot to celebrate milestones or just spend quality time with family and friends, and we strive to create a memorable experience for each guest every night."

Over the last four years, The Melting Pot has nearly doubled in size, growing from 67 to 137 restaurants with 29 more in various stages of development. The company is on pace to open 12 more restaurants in 2009.

About The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc.:

With 137 restaurants nationwide, existing locations in 37 states including the District of Columbia and 29 locations currently in development, The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. is the country's premier fondue restaurant franchise. At The Melting Pot, fondue becomes a memorable four-course dining experience where patrons can dip into something different. Guests enjoy a choice of four flavorful fondue cooking styles and a variety of unique entrees combined with special dipping sauces. The menu also includes creamy cheese fondues, lively salads, fine wines and mouthwatering chocolate fondue desserts. Founded in 1975, The Melting Pot's corporate headquarters are in Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit or email

SOURCE The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc.



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