Win-Win-Win in Franchise Flexibility
Brand Integrity & Customer Convenience
About The Melting Pot Restaurants
The Melting Pot is the premier fondue restaurant franchise with more than 140 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other international locations in development. The company’s fondue concept offers a unique dining experience for customers of all ages and lifestyles. Franchise owners coordinate through the Restaurant Support Center in Tampa, Fla., to maintain a consistent and branded delivery of experience and services across all locations.
The Melting Pot Restaurants needed a new website that would take their Web presence to the next level and cater to more than 140 franchise locations in North America. They also wanted to integrate social media to its brand presence and operate an eCommerce online store from their Website. The overriding goals for the website and its promotional marketing were growth in Web traffic leading to increased reservations, and revenues.
Bayshore Solutions started with usability testing of all parties who interact with the website to find:
Customers: Go to The Melting Pot for “Special Occasion Dining.”
Their customers’ most important web needs are to:
1. Find a Menu
2. Find a Location
Franchisees: Need to quickly edit with relevant local content
Restaurant Support Center: Needs to ensure brand integrity, educate and deliver customer dining reservations
Armed with this insight, Bayshore Solutions designed a guest friendly website that is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and offers special occasion inspiring content while accomplishing the goals of educating guests, increasing consumer awareness and making it easy to choose, locate and reserve a table for dining at any Melting Pot restaurant location.
The Mobile site design with location finder uses the phone’s GPS or browser’s location functionality when available, then reformats location level content and presents it on the mobile device. Integration with third party gift card balance checker is another feature of the site functionality.
All 142 locations have a secure administration area (via the content management system) to manage location-specific content. The custom Franchisee portal allows location owners to update and manage content for their location pages under the layout approved by corporate.
Bayshore Solutions integrated an eCommerce system to showcase and sell The Melting Pot Store products such as: gift cards, seasonings, dressings and ready-to-melt fondue chocolate.
Integrated with the website is the “Fondue Fanatics” social media hub bringing their feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube together in their branded environment.
Ongoing Internet marketing initiatives include strategic search engine optimization as well as education, and consulting with individual franchises for strategic local SEO.
Recent year-over-year results include:
- Mobile Visits growth of 87%
- Total Organic Visits increased 20%
- Total Non-Branded keyword visits grew 190%
- Web Conversions grew 56%
- eCommerce Product Revenue grew 139% in the first year and 57% overall
“Since launching this new site in April 2011, we have seen huge increases in overall site traffic, organic search results, mobile traffic and product revenues. The backend support in the Content Management System has been such a beneficial tool for our franchisees as they need an easy and insightful system to update their local sites as necessary. Overall, we couldn’t be happier with how the site is performing and feel that this is an asset that has really propelled our brand forward in the digital realm,” said
National Director of Marketing and Communications
Front Burner Brands – The Melting Pot Restaurants.
The Melting Pot website has been selected for national awards including:
MarComm Gold Award
An international awards competition that recognizes outstanding and creative achievement by marketing and communication professionals.
Interactive Media Awards
Best in Class honors were given to The Melting Pot Restaurants website for excellence in Web design, development and digital marketing.
Out of nearly 10,000 of entries over 60 countries, the Official Honoree distinction is awarded to the top 10% of all work entered that exhibits remarkable achievement in content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience.
American Business “Stevie” Award
The American Business “Stevie” Awards recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. More than 3,000 nominations were submitted.
Horizon Interactive Bronze Award
The international competition saw over 1,000 entries from over 20 countries around the world. The winning entries showcase the industry’s best interactive media solutions.
W³ Awards honors excellence on the web and recognizes the marketing professionals behind the award winning sites.
The WebAward Competition is the Internet’s premier online awards event and evaluates website development all over the world.