CEO OF FRONT BURNER
Bob Johnston serves as the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for Front Burner and oversees the executive leadership team. He leads Front Burner’s affiliated concepts’ strategic growth, senior management recruitment, operational direction and corporate partnerships. Previously, Johnston was the COO and president of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.
Front Burner is a franchise management company headquartered in Tampa, Florida. It is affiliated with dynamic and niche-specific brands including The Melting Pot, the premier fondue restaurant franchise with more than 125 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has over 10 locations in development internationally.
Johnston started his career with The Melting Pot as a dishwasher in the Tallahassee location and then worked his way through every position in the restaurant until his most recent position as CEO and chairman of the board for Front Burner. In 1985, Bob and his brothers, Mark and Mike, combined their resources and purchased The Melting Pot concept. Envisioning the potential for a national fondue franchise, the brothers embarked on their journey to transform this concept into the current trademark brand – an entertaining and interactive unique fondue dining experience that spans more than 125 restaurants.
Johnston’s enthusiasm for the restaurant industry led him to continually explore other restaurant ideas searching for the next great dining concept. In 2004, Bob and Mark cofounded GrillSmith, a refined-casual Tampa-based restaurant concept. Interested in diving into the fast-casual segment, Front Burner launched the chef-inspired Burger 21 and opened the first location in November 2010.
In 2016, Johnston spearheaded the expansion of the company’s management and consulting services to franchised and small businesses across industries. In addition to creating and developing new restaurants, Johnston remains interested in acquiring existing brands with strong growth potential to create additional franchise opportunities