The Melting Pot, a chain of fondue restaurants based in Tampa, Florida, is eyeing the Springfield area.
Collin Benyo, franchise growth strategist for the company, said franchisees are being sought for potential stores in the Queen City and Branson.
"We've had quite a bit of interest from the area," he said, noting The Melting Pot already operates in Kansas City and St. Louis.
The company, which operates through The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc., offers customizable menus with cheese fondue, salads, entrees and chocolate, according to its website.
Benyo said for Springfield and Branson, a single store in each market would be the goal. He said company officials have found its restaurants serve as destination eateries.
"The way that our guests utilize us and how far that we reach according to data that we have for existing locations, a city like Springfield is a perfect pocket," he said. "Really, we look at Springfield as an untapped market."
The expected investment for a single store is $1.3 million-$2 million, Benyo said, and the average unit volume is $2.5 million annually. The company's website lists a franchise fee of $45,000 and a net worth requirement of $250,000.
The Melting Pot's website lists around 90 stores in 30 states.
SBJ interviews the associate dean, vice chair and professor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy at Missouri State University.