The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., the world’s premier fondue restaurant franchise, announced plans to bring its fondue dining experience to eight countries in the Middle East through a 12-unit franchise development agreement with Hospitality Concepts and Solutions (HCS).

Through the largest franchise deal in The Melting Pot’s history, HCS will open 12 Melting Pot locations in eight years in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

“There is nothing like The Melting Pot in the Middle East and my team and I are excited to bring this unique fondue dining experience to the region,” says HCS co-managing partner Ziad Kaddoura. “With the backing of The Melting Pot’s strong franchise support team in Tampa, Fla., we look forward to great success with the concept in the Middle East.”

“With the ever-growing international clientele in this region, we are confident that The Melting Pot will carve its own niche in this competitive market,” says HCS co-managing partner Mohamed Kamal Charafeddine. “The welcoming atmosphere and interactive dining experience combined with an extensive menu of fondue choices including cheese, entrée, and chocolate fondues will surely attract local families, expatriates, and those looking for a fresh, new dining experience.”

HCS is actively pursuing sites for its first Melting Pot location to open in 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates or Beirut, Lebanon.

The first Melting Pot location in the Middle East is slated to open in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Thalia Street in early 2013 through a five-unit franchise deal for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed in late 2011 with Dr. Mazen Almugbel of Albabteen United Foods Company, LLC and Mira Foods.

“We’ve received tremendous interest in our brand worldwide because it’s a unique and interactive concept,” says Dan Stone, vice president of franchise development for Front Burner Brands, restaurant management company for The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. “The Melting Pot experience transcends cultural differences and is especially attractive to cultures that place great value on spending time with family and friends around a table of food.”

In addition to franchise development in the Middle East, The Melting Pot is continuing international expansion in Canada and Mexico and opened its second location in Canada in Richmond Hill, Ontario and its third location in Mexico City this year.

With 33 international locations open, signed or committed for development in Canada, Mexico, the Middle East and Asia, the company is also looking to Australia, China, India, Brazil and other provinces in Canada for further expansion opportunities.

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