Burger 21 Expands Brand Presence to 10 States with First Michigan Franchise Agreement

Burger 21 Expands Brand Presence to 10 States with First Michigan Franchise AgreementBurger 21®, a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot® Restaurants, Inc. franchise company based in Tampa, Fla., announced today the signing of its first franchise agreement in Michigan. Set to open in Ann Arbor, this Michigan location expands the brand’s national footprint to 10 states.

Additionally, the company signed two franchise agreements for single units in Ocala, Fla., and Raleigh, N.C. The new deals are part of the fast casual concept’s aggressive growth strategy to expand its presence in new and existing markets nationwide. To date, Burger 21 has 13 open locations and 25 franchised restaurants in development across the country.

“In under three years, we’ve made impressive strides in building Burger 21’s national presence and are pleased with the overall success that the brand has experienced thus far,” said Dan Stone, vice president of franchise development for Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. “Raleigh, Ocala and Ann Arbor represent three new markets where we are confident that Burger 21’s diverse menu and unique dining experience will be extremely well received. All three of our new franchise groups come with great foodservice and franchising backgrounds and they all have a desire to open additional Burger 21 locations in the future.”

Mohammad and Wisal Samaha, experienced multi-unit Jimmy John’s franchisees, plan to open the first Burger 21 location in the state of Michigan in Ann Arbor by summer 2015. “When searching for a fast casual concept to invest in, Burger 21 was the obvious choice,” said Wisal. “As experienced franchisees, my husband and I appreciate the extensive training and support provided by Front Burner Brands. We look forward to bringing the first Burger 21 to Michigan and know that the Ann Arbor community will love its 21 chef-inspired burgers as much as we do.”

Burger 21 Expands Brand Presence to 10 States with First Michigan Franchise AgreementAdditionally, John Usher and Ken DePasquale will open a restaurant in Ocala, Fla., in the first half of 2015. Both partners are seasoned restaurant operators with Usher having owned nine McDonald’s restaurants, while DePasquale has operated several independent restaurants. Lastly, long-time foodservice operators Mitch Neal and Keith Smith are planning to open their first restaurant in the Morrisville area of Raleigh, N.C., by summer 2015. Neal, who has owned and operated eight Sonic drive-in locations, will manage the restaurant’s day-to-day operations.

“Keith and I are very excited to bring the first true better burger concept to the Triangle. Burger 21 is literally redefining the gourmet fast casual burger. The taste profiles are out of this world and will leave your taste buds screaming for more,” said Neal. “The brand’s national pledge and commitment to support local charitable organizations on the 21st of each month speaks volumes as both of our families are active members of our surrounding Triangle communities. We look forward to seeing our neighbors in their local Burger 21 very soon!”
To further fuel Burger 21’s expansion, the company is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. EDT. To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx.

Recently, Burger 21 was named one of QSR’s “Best Franchise Deals” and also earned the No. 5 ranking in Fast Casual’s Top 100 “Movers and Shakers” of 2014, up from No. 22 the prior year. Additionally, Burger 21 President Mark Johnston was acknowledged as one of the “Top 25 People” for his continued strategic leadership in the growth and development of the brand. Last year, the franchise’s gluten-free menu received the No. 1 ranking in the “Top 10 Menu Innovations” category.

As the brand continues to expand across the U.S., Burger 21 is seeking single- and multi-unit operators with restaurant experience to join its upscale fast casual dining concept. Franchisee candidates should have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $200,000 per unit. Burger 21 will be developed through both single-unit agreements and Area Development Agreements. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total investment for one restaurant to be approximately $422,083 – $974,395. The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

To learn more about ownership opportunities with Burger 21, contact Ashley Pollard, franchise development associate for Burger 21, at 813-425-6252 or apollard@burger21.com or visit http://www.burger21franchise.com.

Burger 21 Expands Brand Presence to 10 States with First Michigan Franchise AgreementAbout Burger 21
With 13 locations open in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, and 25 in development in nine states, Burger 21 is a “beyond the better burger” fast-casual franchise concept founded in 2010. Burger 21 is a chef-inspired brand with offerings including 21 unique burger creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground Certified Angus Beef® to chicken, turkey, vegetarian, shrimp and tuna burgers, fresh salads, all-beef hot dogs, chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-crafted shakes, floats and sundaes. Burger 21 is an affiliate of Front Burner Brands, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit http://www.burger21.com.


About Front Burner Brands
Front Burner Brands is a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. It is affiliated with the corporate owners of and its management services extended to The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., founded in 1975 with more than 135 locations in North America and more than 25 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with 13 locations open in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, and 25 in development in nine states, and GrillSmith with five locations in the Tampa Bay area. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.