Originating from the Latin word restaurare, which means to renew, restaurants have been a fixture in peoples’ lives since the 1700s. Since then, restaurants have grown into something more than places where we have food. They are a place where friends and families meet, share emotions, share laughter, shed tears and, most importantly, create memories.
Melting Pot is a restaurant that truly caters to taste buds and emotions. Originally founded in 1975 in Maitland, Florida, Melting Pot is a chain of franchised fondue restaurants known for pampering taste buds with various cheese fondues, wines, salads, ingresses of meat and seafood served with dipping sauces and chocolate fondues. When Melting Pot started, it had just three items on the menu. However, today after 45 years of continuous improvement, it serves a vast variety of delicious and mouthwatering delicacies. “For more than 45 years, Melting Pot has been delivering a unique fondue dining experience and we are proud of it,” says Bob Johnston, CEO & Chairman of the Board of the Melting Pot.
The journey: From a waiter to a successful CEO
It began when Mark Johnston, who was then studying and working as a waiter at Melting Pot in Tallahassee, Florida, noticed the increasing popularity of the restaurant and could not resist the desire to have his own. With the help of his brothers, Bob and Mike, they scraped together the funding, and in 1979, they purchased the Tallahassee Melting Pot.
The Tallahassee location flourished, and as Melting Pot grew, so did its menu. Over a period of time, many new items were launched and became a hit with patrons. The ambience, designed to complement the taste of the food, laid the foundation for the Johnston brothers to branch out and open their second location in Tampa.
Fondue: Gifting smiles. Creating memories
At Melting Pot, fondue is not just a signature dish, but a journey. It is a formulation which is a result of 45 years of continuous improvement. People of all age groups enjoy it since there’s something for everyone’s preferences. Bob defines Fondue as more than a meal and calls it an experience which people cherish for years. “That’s what Melting Pot does best. It offers deliciously distinctive experiences that are designed to be shared, savored and remembered,” emphasizes Johnston. Even after 45 years, fondue continues to bring people together and creates the same relaxed, welcoming, home-like environment where people feel connected to each other and when they leave, they leave with smiles and memories.
Work culture at Melting Pot
The staff is said to be the most crucial part of any restaurant since they are the ones who directly deal with the customers. In this domain, Melting Pot has set the industry standards and laid the basic framework of the restaurant business. Melting Pot has an open work culture where efforts are appreciated and people are valued.
At Melting Pot, every employee, irrespective of his or her position, is taught to think like a leader and take the responsibility of customer satisfaction. If a staff member finds someone in need of help, he or she immediately springs into action as if they were his or her own customer. The staff are trained to be leaders and treated like family.