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, Florida, in November 2010. Over the past year, the concept doubled its number of operating restaurants. 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,” says Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, the 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 the fall of 2011 and launched an aggressive growth initiative to bring its burger creations and shakes to more cities across the country. Since that launch two years ago, the brand 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 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 for its success. In addition to 10 crafted 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. About 40 percent of Burger 21 customers order non-beef alternatives, and 60 percent choose all-beef burgers and hot dogs. Burger 21 also focuses on providing ingredients like toasted brioche buns, pickled cucumbers, applewood-smoked bacon, and sweet potato fries with toasted marshmallow sauce.
Burger 21 has developed a 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 each month.