Key Innovations Position Melting Pot for Franchise Growth
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Key Innovations Position Melting Pot for Franchise Growth

Guest-Focused Initiatives Breaks Down Pandemic Barriers to Drive Revenues and Position Brand for New-Market Expansion

March 02, 2021 // Franchising.com // TAMPA, Fla. - An infusion of dynamic marketing and operations enhancements that helped Melting Pot thrive in 2020 is now catapulting them to further success in 2021.

Driving the positive results, Melting Pot elevated restaurant performance through key initiatives such as a new national menu designed in partnership with both Melting Pot franchisees and outside consultants, including The Culinary Edge, a leading food and beverage innovation consultancy. The menu change substantially increased per person averages sales (PPA), making up for guests and sales lost to the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing check size without sacrificing guest satisfaction, which actually increased.

In August 2020, Melting Pot launched a highly successful national day-of-week promotion, Thursdate®, a four-course menu special that created the perfect date night on Thursdays. This initiative helped with capacity restrictions on Friday and Saturday by shifting traffic to Thursdays, giving guests another reason to dine with Melting Pot and effectively creating another day in the weekend. Melting Pot also quickly pivoted to implement Melting Pot To-Go. Curbside pickup service ensures guests can still safely enjoy Melting Pot from the comfort of their own home.

For guests seeking Melting Pot’s trademark Perfect Night Out®, the brand’s Melting Pot Evolution plan drove the launch of a new restaurant design prototype. Melting Pot Evolution has created a new ambiance and an inviting design, adding new casual dining, a social bar, outdoor dining and patio bar areas. The brand’s logo and color palette were also updated as part of this initiative, bringing a modern feel to Melting Pot while retaining the same experience customers know and love.

“The innovations from this past year have set us up for this strong start in 2021. We anticipate that this will resonate with our loyal and longtime fans for the balance of the year, while also bridging us to a new set of guests,” said Bob Johnston, CEO of Front Burner Brands, the restaurant management company for Melting Pot, and the architect of the brand’s evolution. “In addition to endearing us with our guests, the momentum behind our brand puts us in the right spot to attract high quality restaurant franchise investors. We are in a strategic expansion mode and looking to bring on talented owner/operators that have the experience and infrastructure to grow with us.”

Johnston’s perspective includes a vantage point like no other in the organization. As part of the family team that owns the brand, he has been involved with Melting Pot for over 40 years, starting as a dishwasher when he was a teenager. His family’s ownership has fostered a supportive, collaborative culture that has strengthened the bonds between the corporate team and the franchisees.

Given the energy enveloping the brand, company leaders have designed a fresh franchise expansion strategy to award qualified franchisees the opportunity to expand with Melting Pot in new markets. Key markets in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas have been strategically selected for the brand’s growth.

“This past year has been a tremendous learning experience for our entire team,” said Shak Turner, senior director of franchise development at Front Burner Brands. “We looked challenges in the face and overcame them decisively as a unified group – the corporate team and our franchisees. Now, we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our accomplishments from the past year to expand with talented ownership groups.”

The brand stands alone in the full-service restaurant category with an operations team and restaurant support center that are dedicated to providing aid and clarity to the 97 restaurants in the system. Accentuating the brand’s supportive and familial culture, it has a core commitment to philanthropy, which allows franchisees the opportunity to give back to their communities and important causes. In fact, the brand has donated over $13 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, which treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Melting Pot is beloved for its interactive dining experience where guests can customize the menu to their liking with up to four courses. Enjoying a variety of unique entrées, salads and unforgettable desserts that are perfect for a casual family night out, as well as special occasions like anniversaries, date nights, birthdays and much more.

SOURCE Melting Pot

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