Mike Lester is currently the President of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., Mike Lester is responsible for the overall operations of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. franchise system with more than 125 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from the company’s Restaurant Support Center in Tampa, Florida. In addition to his current role with The Melting Pot, Lester also helps to oversee franchise management company Front Burner.

As President of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., Lester presides over The Melting Pot’s overall operations including culinary development, training, purchasing and distribution, construction and design, franchising, finance and accounting. He also oversees the company’s strategic growth, the franchise Strategic Partnership Committee and franchise business consultants.

Previously, Lester developed and operated 15 Outback Steakhouse locations as a joint venture partner from August 1993 to July 2006. He expanded, trained and recruited managers and managing partners, developed and executed marketing strategies, executed community relations projects and events, supervised customer and employee relations, enforced strict health department and restaurant compliance standards, managed financial aspects including business development and implementation, effective cost controls and financial analysis as well as negotiated and managed vendor contracts and internal audits.

Lester studied microbiology at the University of Kentucky. He received his Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) certification from the International Franchise Association (IFA) Institute of Certified Franchise Executives. His professional development skills include employee and workplace legalities, communications, P&L workshops, sexual harassment, team building, meeting facilitation, concentrated service and food meetings, ServSafe certifications, responsible alcohol vending and more.