The Melting Pot Franchise Costs, Fees & Owner Salary (2023)









April 11, 2024


The Melting Pot

a franchise?

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is an American chain of franchised casual dining restaurants headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

The Melting Pot's history dates back to 1975 when it was founded in Maitland, Florida. Initially, the restaurant offered just three menu items: Swiss cheese fondue, beef fondue, and a chocolate fondue dessert. Over time, its menu has expanded to include salads, meat entrees, chicken, pasta, and seafood.

In 1979, Mark, Mike, and Bob Johnston opened The Melting Pot of Tallahassee with permission from the owners. By 1985, they had purchased all the rights to The Melting Pot brand and established The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.

The Melting Pot commenced its franchising journey in 1985 and has since grown to encompass over 95 restaurants across the United States and Canada.

How many

The Melting Pot


are there?

In 2022, there were
outlets in
the United
States, of which
are franchises, and
are corporate-owned.

What are the

The Melting Pot



Advertising fee


Initial Franchise Fee ($45,000)

  • This is a nonrecurring fee payable upon the execution of the agreement. It is fully earned by the company upon the execution of the agreement and is nonrefundable.

Royalty and Service Fee (5% of Gross Revenues)

  • This fee is payable on the 10th day of each calendar month. The company reserves the right to change the time, manner, and frequency of the Royalty and Service Fee payments.

Advertising Fee (4.5% of Gross Revenues)

  • This combines the Brand Development Contribution (currently 1.19% of Gross Revenues) and Local Advertising (currently 2.5% of Gross Revenues). The total of the Brand Development Contribution and Local Advertising may not exceed 4.5 percent. The Brand Development Contribution is deposited in the MELTING POT® Brand Development Fund and is controlled and spent by the company. It is paid via electronic funds transfer on the 10th day of each calendar month. Local Advertising expenditures are spent by the franchisee in the local market for tactical execution and media.

Digital Ad Cooperative (Minimum $1,000 per month)

  • This is designated by the company from time to time and is currently payable on the 25th day of each month.

Note: The fees presented here can be found in the Item 5 of the Franchise Disclosure Document. For a complete list of all the fees borne by the franchisee, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.

How much does

it cost

to start a

The Melting Pot


It costs between
to start a
The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot, a distinctive fondue restaurant, offers a unique dining experience for its patrons. For those considering franchising a The Melting Pot restaurant, the total estimated initial investment necessary to commence operation ranges from approximately $1,364,389 to $2,069,638.

This investment encompasses various costs, including an initial franchise fee paid to the franchisor, among other expenditures.

Initial Investment  Breakdown:

Type of Expenditure Amount
Initial Franchise Fee $45,000
Real Estate Services Fee $2,500
Real Estate (Rent – First 3 months) $28,500 to $81,250
Security Deposit $0 to $22,916
Leasehold Improvements $602,110 to $963,445
Computer and Point of Sales Hardware/Software $25,000
Computer Software Installation and Training; First Year Subscription $8,900 to $15,000
Gift Card Processing and Website Development/Enhancement Fee (3 months) $677 to $747 Monthly
Restaurant Equipment, Furniture, Fixtures and Signage $438,826 to $572,482
Utility Deposits $2,000 to $5,000
Opening Inventory and Supplies $65,000 to $75,000
Grand Opening Advertising $15,000 to $20,000
Training Expenses $31,026 to $68,299
Licenses – Alcoholic Beverages, Business and Health $6,000 to $10,000
Insurance $3,000 to $6,000
Legal $2,000 to $6,000
Accounting Firm (3 months) $2,100 to $2,500
Reservation System (3 months) $1,750 to $3,500 Monthly
Additional Funds (3 months) $85,000 to $145,000
Total $1,364,389 to $2,069,638

Note: The table above provides a snapshot of the main costs associated with starting the most common franchise format (as disclosed in the Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document). For a complete overview of all the expenses involved with the various formats offered by the franchisor, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.


The Melting Pot



to its


The Melting Pot

Here's a detailed look at what they offer to their franchisees:

Training Program: The Melting Pot offers a comprehensive training program. This program combines various learning methods, ensuring that franchisees are well-prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills to operate their store.

Who Needs to Attend: At least five individuals must attend and successfully complete the initial training program. This includes the franchisee's Operating Principal, the General Manager, and a minimum of two and a maximum of four members of the franchisee’s management personnel, depending on the size of the Restaurant.

Training Content: This includes sales techniques, product orientation, accounting procedures, food preparation, and operations management.

Location and Duration: The training is provided at The Melting Pot's designated locations. The members of the Management Staff must begin training at least five weeks before opening, and the training program will last for at least a thirteen-week period.

Training Expenses: The franchisee will be responsible for all personal expenses incurred by trainees in connection with training programs, including all costs and expenses relating to transportation, lodging, meals, wages, and employee benefits.


The Melting Pot




Franchisees are granted a specific territory known as the "Territory". This Territory is exclusive, and franchisees have the exclusive right to operate a MELTING POT® Restaurant and to use the MELTING POT® system within that Territory.

The Territory's definition will be based on the total population within a certain geographical area. Depending on the population density, the Territory can vary in size, with different radius measurements determining its boundaries.Continuation of territorial rights does not depend on achieving specific sales volumes or market penetration. However, franchisees must comply with the Franchise Agreement.

The Melting Pot commits not to establish other MELTING POT® Restaurants, either franchised or owned by them, within the Territory. Additionally, they will not establish any other food outlets that serve fondue products by at-the-table preparation or offer fondue products as a significant portion of their menu outside the Territory but under the MELTING POT® brand.

Can a

The Melting Pot


be run as

a passive


Franchisees of The Melting Pot are expected to have a dedicated management team in place for their restaurant. This team should consist of a General Manager, who oversees the entire operation, and two to three assistant managers.

Among the assistant managers, one will primarily focus on front-of-the-house responsibilities, while another will handle the heart-of-the-house duties. All these managers, including the General Manager, are required to attend and successfully complete the company's operations training program.

If the franchisee (or one of its owners) does not serve as the General Manager, they might still be required to undergo all or a portion of the company's operations training, based on the company's discretion.

In conclusion, The Melting Pot places significant emphasis on active management and involvement by the franchisee and their designated management team.

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