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National fondue franchise refreshes its Greenville, Columbia locations

Krys Merryman //May 20, 2023//

National fondue franchise refreshes its Greenville, Columbia locations

Krys Merryman //May 20, 2023//

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After more than 30 years in Greenville, The Melting Pot is remodeling as part of a nationwide effort to tweak its image. (Photo/Krys Merryman)A national chain of fondue restaurants is moving forward with a new brand strategy that means a remodel for its Greenville location.

The Melting Pot at 475 Haywood Road in Greenville, which opened in 1992, is part of the company’s plan to remodel another 55 locations this year, including its Columbia restaurant.

Locations that have not been updated since the early 1980s led to the some of the restaurants feeling disjointed, said The Melting Pot Senior Design Manager Deborah Ramos.

“The new remodel will be reflective of how the concept is adapting to better serve customers,” she said. “The revived Melting Pot design features a more open, inviting floor plan with an open dining room and a designated, but easily visible, bar area where bartenders can craft the concept’s high-level cocktails.”

The Greenville location is the first in line for upgrades in South Carolina, followed later this year by the Columbia restaurant. (Photo/Krys Merryman)The brand, which has about 100 restaurants currently, plans to expand to 125 within the next three years, said Ramos.

The remodel initiative started in 2016/2017, however, most were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This time has allowed for more extensive consumer studies, meetings with franchisees, and developing concepts that were important to the brand in terms of refreshing them, said Ramos.

“Like many of our locations that have been opened for a while, they were ready for a refresh,” she added. “I think when we started the remodels, franchisees were cautious about changing things, losing the brand’s favorite elements, but as we have reopened more of the refreshed restaurants, they have seen the comments and excitement around the new designs. These restaurants have also consistently outperformed those that haven’t received a refresh yet.”

The Melting Pot wants to maintain its reputation for romantic dining while opening up to a more casual use by patrons. (Photo/Krys Merryman)She said the research department is always looking for ways to elevate the fondue experience for customers and make the process smoother and easier to understand, too.

“For us, we really wanted to make sure we were reaching new guests while not disorienting those who love to come here, typically a place for celebrations and romantic occasions,” said Ramos. “We are expanding our reach for those who may not come to those (occasions) but on a more casual and frequent basis.”