TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2013) – Burger 21®, a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot® Restaurants, Inc., announced today the signing of two new franchise deals for the territories of Albany, N.Y. and Sarasota, Fla. The deal will bring the first Burger 21 restaurant to the state of New York and expands the brand’s footprint to a total of seven states. To date, Burger 21 has five open locations and 12 franchised restaurants in development across the East Coast.
Current Melting Pot franchisees, Mike Stygles and Bruce Anderson, will initially develop one unit in Albany, N.Y., but hope to further build Burger 21’s presence throughout upstate New York. They currently are franchisee partners for The Melting Pot of Syracuse, and Stygles also owns Melting Pot franchises in Albany and Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Prior to joining The Melting Pot, Stygles and Anderson were joint venture partners with Outback Steakhouse for several of years.
"I feel very fortunate that the valuable support and experience offered by Front Burner Brands has given us the opportunity to further develop our portfolios with the company through a unique concept that truly goes beyond the better burger," said Stygles. "I'm excited to get behind the grill and introduce the Albany community to Burger 21's diverse menu of crafted beef and non-beef burger creations, hand-dipped shakes and more."
Also an experienced Melting Pot franchisee, Barry Berkowitz and long-time friend, Brian Marshall, have signed an agreement to develop one unit in Sarasota, Fla. Berkowitz and Marshall, both natives of Sarasota, hope to develop additional units over the next several years.
"As a Melting Pot franchisee of 22 years, I feel that Burger 21 is a natural growth extension for me and I know we'll be successful with the extensive training and support provided by Front Burner Brands," said Berkowitz. "I'm confident that the Sarasota community will embrace Burger 21 and the gourmet ‘beyond the better burger’ experience it offers without the gourmet price."
Since launching an aggressive growth initiative in Fall 2011, Burger 21 has signed franchise agreements with eight different entities in seven states to develop a total of 12 franchised units in the Atlanta, Orlando, Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C., Washington D.C., Albany, N.Y. and Sarasota, Fla. markets. The company’s second Orlando location is scheduled to open near the University of Central Florida on Feb. 25.
“Burger 21’s franchise program continues to build momentum with the signing of our first franchise agreements in upstate New York and Southwest Florida,” said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. “Our brand’s proven business model in the thriving fast casual segment, along with our dedicated franchisees and operators, continue to drive the success of our growing concept.”
To further fuel expansion in New York, Florida and throughout the U.S., Burger 21 is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. EST. To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx or contact Ashley Pollard, franchise sales associate for Burger 21 at 813-425-6252 or email@example.com.
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 cost of investment for one restaurant to be approximately $597,995 - $831,995. The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.
About Burger 21
With five locations open in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla., and 12 in development in seven 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 and slider creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground Certified Angus Beef® to chicken, turkey, shrimp and tuna burgers, made-to-order salads, all-beef hot dogs, hand-breaded chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-dipped 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 (formerly known as TGS Restaurant Management) 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 140 locations in North America and more than 25 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with five locations open in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla., and 12 in development in seven states, GrillSmith with six locations in the Tampa Bay area and other new franchise concepts in development. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.
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