Customers flock to The Melting Pot during last few days of business
BATON ROUGE - A popular restaurant that's been in Baton Rouge for 18 years is closing its doors on Saturday. But until then, people are flocking to The Melting Pot to get their fondue fix. That is, if they can get a seat.
“We've basically been booked through Friday and Saturday,” said manager Patrick Tolbert.
After announcing the closure on Facebook, Tolbert says the phone has been ringing off the hook with people trying to reserve a spot.
“Everyday this week we've had about 300 people. On Friday and Saturday it looks like we'll do 400,” said Tolbert.
Now there are no more left. Those trying to walk in on Thursday were turned away. Melissa Madere drove up from the New Orleans area with her daughter.
“We took a chance. I figured you had to have a reservation but we wanted to try because we can't afford to fly to the other places,” said Melissa Madere.
The Baton Rouge location is the last The Melting Pot in the state. The franchise restaurant in New Orleans is already closed.
“It’s been really hard to get everyone in, but we're glad everyone has been coming in,” said the owner, Susan Womack.
Womack says the response is humbling, but it’s been needed for a while.
“Business has been really tough. We took a downturn for a while after the recession,” she said.
It'll be the opposite for the next couple of days as many customers will be coming back to say goodbye to a spot they've been going to for years, including the staff.
“It’s been our family for so long. The kitchen guys, I've known them for so long, so it’s sad,” said Womack.
Womack says people can still try to get reservations before they close. If someone cancels, they'll open up that spot on their website. But they likely won't be answering any more phone calls.