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November 18, 2013

Burger 21 Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary and Tremendous Growth Year

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2013) – Burger 21®, a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot®Restaurants, Inc., is celebrating three years of success since opening its first restaurant in Tampa, Fla., in November 2010. Over the past year, the “beyond the better burger” concept has doubled its number of operating restaurants. Currently, Burger 21 has nine restaurants open and 18 franchised locations in development throughout the U.S.

“Since the launch of the unique concept featuring 21 crafted burgers, Burger 21 has experienced impressive growth and success in every market we’ve entered,” said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. “With our quality of food, menu diversity, experience in franchising and rich company culture, we’re not surprised that Burger 21 has been embraced by both franchisees and loyal customers. There’s no denying that Burger 21 fills a void in the fast casual burger segment, which inspires our customers to keep coming back.”

Burger 21 began franchising in fall 2011 and launched an aggressive growth initiative to bring its crafted burger creations and signature shakes to more cities across the country. Since that launch two years ago, the brand has signed franchise agreements with 13 different entities in nine states to develop a total of 23 franchised restaurants. As an affiliate of Front Burner Brands and sister concept of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Burger 21 benefits from an established distribution network that has allowed it to expand rapidly across the country with locations now open or in development in the Northeast, Southeast, and most recently, the Southwest.

The company credits brand differentiation and menu diversity largely for its success. In addition to 10 unique crafted Certified Angus Beef® burgers, Burger 21 offers 10 non-beef burgers, including the Black Bean Burger, the Ahi Tuna burger and Chicken Marsala, as well as one rotating burger of the month. Approximately, 40 percent of Burger 21 customers are ordering non-beef alternatives and 60 percent are choosing all-beef burgers and hot dogs.  Burger 21 also focuses on providing premium ingredients like toasted brioche buns, pickled cucumbers, applewood-smoked bacon and sweet potato fries with toasted marshmallow sauce.

Burger 21 has developed a unique culture in its restaurants that includes a strong commitment to the communities it serves. Since its inception, the company has provided more than $50,000 in contributions as part of its “B Charitable” initiative, in which it donates 10 percent of its restaurants’ sales to local schools and charities on the 21st of each month.

Burger 21 recently was named one of Fast Casual’s Top 100 “Movers and Shakers” of 2013. The concept ranked No. 22 based on its variety of innovative recipes and recent expansion. In addition, the franchise’s gluten-free menu received the No. 1 ranking in the “Top 10 Menu Innovations” category and Mark Johnston was recognized as one of the “Top 20 People” for his strategic leadership in the growth and development of the brand.

To further fuel Burger 21’s expansion, the company is actively seeking qualified franchisees throughout the U.S. and will host a live webinar on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. EST. To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx.

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 $414,495 – $832,495. 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 nine locations open in Tampa Bay, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Voorhees, N.J., Atlanta, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., and 18 in development in six 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, made-to-order salads, all-beef hot dogs, hand-breaded 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 https://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 135 locations in North America and more than 25 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with nine locations open in Tampa Bay, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Voorhees, N.J., Atlanta, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., and 18 in development in six 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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