Burger 21, a new better-burger founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, announced it has signed a franchise agreement to open a restaurant in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, early next year. 

This deal marks the brand’s first location in Pennsylvania and the 25th restaurant open or in development.

“Burger 21’s expansion into Pennsylvania is a major milestone for the brand as we enter our eighth state and develop our 25th location,” says Mark Johnston, president and chief concept officer of Burger 21 and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. “We’re looking forward to introducing the brand to guests in the Pittsburgh area and have no doubt they will love the crafted burgers, hand-dipped shakes, and menu variety that have made Burger 21 so popular.”

Franchisee Chad Brooks signed an agreement for one location in Cranberry Township, a suburb north of Pittsburgh. He also owns and operates eight Qdoba restaurants in the market.

“The success of high-end burger restaurants in Pittsburgh really got me searching for a fast-casual option with a broader menu and better environment,” Brooks says. “When I found Burger 21, I knew I had found the concept that matched perfectly with what I was looking for. Mark and his team really have done an excellent job developing the concept and have it poised for success and growth.”

Johnston adds, “Chad’s 10 years of multiunit franchising experience, coupled with his passion for developing young brands, makes him an ideal Burger 21 franchisee. We’re confident his first location will be a hit among Pittsburgh’s burger lovers.”

Since launching its aggressive growth plan in fall 2011, Burger 21 has signed franchise agreements with 11 different entities in eight states to develop a total of 21 franchised units in cities along the East Coast, from New York to Florida. 

Burger 21 is seeking single- and multiunit 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–$831,995. 

The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units. 

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