The First Melting Pot
The first Melting Pot opened in April of 1975 in Maitland, Fla., just outside of Orlando. It was a cozy, quaint location, and its first menu consisted of just three items: Swiss cheese fondue, beef fondue and a chocolate fondue dessert. However, as the restaurant’s popularity expanded, so did its menu and ambiance.
Mark Johnston, who was working his way through college as a waiter at The Melting Pot, noticed the popularity boost and, with the help of his brothers Mike and Bob, scraped together funding to open The Melting Pot of Tallahassee in 1979 (with the blessing of the original owners in Maitland…of course). The Tallahassee location grew enormously popular, and within one year, its success paved the way for future franchise expansion.
In 1981, the Johnston brothers decided to branch out and opened their second location in Tampa. As their business grew, the brothers began to consider franchising even more stores in order to expand
Then in 1985, Mark, Mike and Bob Johnston purchased all rights to The Melting Pot brand and established The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., the new franchise company. After a year of research and reorganization, The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. began its franchise offering.
Building A Close Knit Fondue Family
From the start, the Johnston brothers were diligent in their search for energetic entrepreneurs who were as excited as they were about the concept and its potential. Their commitment to building a close knit fondue family proved successful.