Years ago, I was having dinner at The Melting Pot in downtown Nashville, when I came across a story written on the back of the menu. It explained how the restaurant began.
Now, I wasn’t able to find the story online, so I’m going from memory. It began in 1975 with a few college kids. They opened the humble restaurant across the street from a grocery store. They would seat customers and give them a choice of only three options—Swiss cheese fondue, beef fondue or chocolate fondue.
After taking the order, they would ask the customers to pay. Yep! They had them pay for their dinners in advance. Why? Because the students didn’t have any money. And they didn’t go in debt to fund their restaurant. They took the cash, ran across the street, purchased the necessary items, ran back to the kitchen, prepared the meal and delivered it to the table.
What a concept! Obviously the word got around that the food/service was great. People kept coming with no issues of paying in advance. The students eventually franchised the restaurant. By 2009, they had 142 different locations. All of this because some college kids had an idea, and they were brave enough to ask for the money up front.
Could that work today? Absostinkinlutely! Are there variables that must be in place? Sure. You must have a product that people want. You need a sales person(s) that can sell the product. You have to have customer service that makes people happy, and you have to deliver all of this in a way that causes your customers to tell others about their experience.
If you can do all of the above, you, too, can create your own Melting Pot type of story.
Question: Would you be brave enough to take the same chance?