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Melting Pot plans to open a remodel weekly through 2023

Fondue concept works on modernizing brand with new look

Melting Pot Restaurants Inc., the 94-unit fondue concept, plans to remodel a store each week during 2023, the company says.

Tampa, Fla.-based Melting Pot, a division of Front Burner Brands, has opened remodeled stores in Denver and El Paso, Texas, and launched what the company calls the “Melting Pot Evolution.”

Bob Johnston, Melting Pot CEO, said in a statement: “2021 and 2022 were both tremendous years for the brand in terms of increasing traffic — real growth. In other words, we had growth that came not just through price increases, but actual traffic increases.” He said 74 restaurants in the system achieved all-time sales records in 2022.

The remodeled units offer a more open dining room layout, the company said, a more defined bar area and elements like candles and fireplaces.

Deborah Ramos, senior design manager at Front Burner Brands, said: “When we started to undertake the remodel, we had a pretty wide variety of designs. The brand is a legacy brand, and some of our stores have not been updated since they opened in the early ‘80s,

Johnston noted that, across the network, remodeled stores performed 16 percentage points better than non-remodeled locations. In 2023, the company plans to fully remodel 60 existing locations.

Johnston said the relocation of a restaurant in King of Prussia, Pa., provided a traffic and sales boost, leading in 2022 to a 31.2% increase in revenue and a 17.9% increase in traffic over 2021 figures.

“The brand has been there nearly two decades, and the geographic location is great, but the building needed some improvements,” Johnston said. “The franchisee said, ‘Let’s not just renovate here, let’s get a great location.’ They relocated and built out that restaurant with the newest prototype, and it’s a fine example of what The Melting Pot of the future looks like.”

Johnston said the concept is looking at franchising possibilities in Charleston, S.C., Chattanooga, Tenn., Houston, Memphis, Tenn., and Montgomery, Ala.

The company is also near the opening of a company-owned location in St. Petersburg, Fla., which it says will be “a training center of excellence for the brand.”

Melting Pot was founded in 1975.

Parent Front Burner Brands also owns the Melting Pot Social brand, which opened its first location in July 2021 in Asheville, N.C., and expanded to Tampa and the fast-casual Oronzo (UN)Common Italian concept, which debuted in June 2020.

.Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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