Burger 21, a new better-burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, announced it is targeting additional areas in the greater Orlando market for future development in 2013.

Target cities include Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Winter Garden, Lake Mary, and Celebration. To date, Burger 21 has six restaurants open in Florida and 18 franchised locations in development along the East Coast.

“Our crafted burgers, hand-dipped shakes, and menu variety have allowed us to stand out among better-burger concepts in Orlando since opening our very first franchise location there in November,” says Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21.

“Because of the incredible success the brand has experienced in the market, we’re boosting our development efforts by offering up additional opportunities for entrepreneurs to own a Burger 21,” he adds.

Burger 21 has two locations in Orlando: one at the Shoppes at Millenia, which opened in November 2012, and the other near the University of Central Florida (UCF), which opened in February.

“I’m thrilled with how the community has responded to Burger 21,” says franchisee Daniel Torres, whose UCF location attracts a wide variety of customers, from college students and area business professionals to families and grandparents.

“They’re wowed by the décor, environment, and especially the menu. Most come in expecting fast food, but as soon as they bite into our fresh burgers, they taste the difference,” he continues. “It’s rewarding to hear such positive reactions from customers, and I really look forward to opening a second location in the coming months.”

Franchisee Dennis Saller, who owns and operates one location at the Shoppes at Millenia and aims to open two more over the next five years, says, “The brand has caught people’s attention very quickly and now we are a talked-about restaurant in Orlando.

“Every day since we opened, we’ve been greeting first-time customers who heard about us through word of mouth,” he adds. “People are really talking about the Burger 21 experience of great food and great customer service, and then going out and telling friends and family.”

To further fuel Burger 21’s national expansion, the company is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Thursday, May 2, at 2 p.m. EDT.

Since launching its aggressive growth plan in Fall 2011, Burger 21 has signed franchise agreements with 10 different entities in seven states to develop a total of 20 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 $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. 

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