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To Keep Stores Fresh, This Franchise Looks Within The Melting Pot's new program 'Path to Grow' helps managers become franchise owners.

By Nina Zipkin

This story appears in the May 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The Melting Pot

Recently The Melting Pot noticed that a few of its franchisees were looking to sell. This was curious; not only does everyone (arguably) love fondue, but also the 42-year-old Tampa-based franchise prides itself on a loyal base of longtime owners without a lot of resales. Upon investigation, it turned out the franchisees weren't unhappy; they just wanted to retire or move on to the next phase of their lives. That was its own kind of problem.

Related: The 6 Most Common Franchisor Mistakes

"When you don't want to own much longer, and your head and your heart aren't in the game, it can affect the business," says Dan Stone, the chief business and people development officer at Front Burner, The Melting Pot's management company. So to breathe new life into its franchise base, the company launched a program called Path to Grow. It helps franchisees find buyers by tapping into The Melting Pot's stable of operators and managers. If both the location and the new franchisee are approved by The Melting Pot, the company will even act as lender to the new owner. Win-win.

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