Industry News | November 13, 2012

Burger 21 Makes Its Debut in NC, D.C.

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Burger 21, a fast-casual concept founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, announced that it has signed a franchise deal to open one restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a multiunit deal to develop four new restaurants throughout Fairfax County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland. 

These latest agreements are part of the brand’s aggressive growth strategy to bring its crafted burgers and hand-dipped shakes to more cities across the country. 

To date, Burger 21 has five units open and 10 franchised restaurants in development along the East Coast.

Current franchisees of The Melting Pot, Todd Dennis and Brian Neel, plan to initially develop one Burger 21 restaurant in Charlotte. These business partners have more than two decades of franchising experience with the sister brand and operate two successful Melting Pot locations in the Charlotte area.

“As long-time Melting Pot franchisees, we feel Burger 21 is a natural growth extension for us, and we know we’ll be successful with the valuable support and experience offered by Front Burner Brands,” Neel says. “We also know Charlotte inside and out and believe people will be really excited about this unique concept with its incredibly diverse menu of hand-crafted burgers and more.”

As experienced franchisees and operators with Dunkin’ Brands, Ray Patel, Joseph Yu, Bubuhai Patel, and Nick Patel have signed on to develop four restaurants in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.

The locations will be in Alexandria, Tysons Corner, and Fair Lakes, Virginia, as well as one unit in Rockville, Maryland.  

“We have a great deal of franchising experience in the Greater D.C. area and look forward to bringing this fresh, new concept to residents in the surrounding communities,” Ray Patel says. “With chef-inspired burgers, shakes, hot dogs, chicken tenders, salads, and more, we are confident that Burger 21 will quickly become one of our guests’ favorite lunch and dinner destinations.”

Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, says, “The signing of these new franchise agreements is a true testament to the strength of our growing brand, attracting both experienced Melting Pot franchisees as well as successful, multiunit owners with major brands like Dunkin’.

“Our franchisees recognize the extensive training and support provided by Front Burner Brands, which has given them the ability to further develop their portfolios with our company,” he continues.

These new franchise agreements come as Burger 21 opens its first franchised restaurant in Orlando, Florida, in Orlando’s Shoppes at Millenia.

Since February 2012, the burger franchise has signed six agreements to develop a total of 11 franchised units in the Atlanta; Orlando; Voorhees, New Jersey; Charlotte; and Washington. D.C. markets, for a total of 15 franchised and company-owned units on the East Coast.

To further fuel expansion in North Carolina, Virginia, and other markets throughout the U.S., Burger 21 is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Thursday, November 29 at 1 p.m. EST.

Burger 21 is seeking single and multiunit operators with restaurant experience along the East Coast and throughout the country 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 $525,495–$750,995. 

The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, a 10 percent discount is applied to all franchises sold by December 21, 2012. 

Reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.