Burger 21, a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc., announces it has expanded the brand to the northeast with the opening of its first New Jersey location in Voorhees. Currently, Burger 21 has seven restaurants open and 17 franchised locations in development along the East Coast.
Located in the Voorhees Town Center at 12109 Town Center Blvd., the new restaurant is owned and operated by current The Melting Pot franchisee Charlie Haney, along with business partners Curt Wunder and Mike Astuto. They decided to expand their portfolio based on the extensive training and support Haney received over the years from Front Burner Brands, the concepts’ management company. Haney became a Melting Pot franchisee in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 2006 and was named “Melting Pot Franchisee of the Year” in 2010.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Charlie and his team to bring Burger 21 to New Jersey — a hot market right now for better burgers,” says Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. “Our crafted burgers, hand-dipped shakes, and menu variety make Burger 21 stand out among better burger concepts, and we have no doubt guests in Voorhees will love what we have to offer.”
Haney, president of ABL Restaurant Management, aims to open a dozen locations throughout southern New Jersey. In addition to offering guests a variety of burgers like the Tex-Mex Haystack, Spicy Thai Shrimp, Black Bean, and Chicken Marsala, the first location in Voorhees also will have craft beer, wines by the glass, and, exclusive to the Voorhees location, adult milk shakes.
“I was blown away by the quality of the food when I visited the first Burger 21 in Tampa, Florida, and could hardly wait for Front Burner Brands to start franchising the concept,” says Haney. “Opening Burger 21 in Voorhees fills the need for gourmet burgers that most people can’t find without going to high-end restaurants with big price tags.”
“We’ve had a strong relationship with Charlie throughout his years as a successful Melting Pot franchisee, and we’re looking forward to expanding that partnership as he and his team grow the Burger 21 brand in New Jersey,” Johnston adds.
To further fuel Burger 21’s national expansion, the company is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will be exhibiting at the International Franchise Expo June 20-22 at the Javits Center in New York City. Local entrepreneurs are invited to meet with the brand’s franchise development team at booth No. 117 to learn more about growth opportunities.
Additionally, Burger 21 will host a live webinar on Thursday, May 23, 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 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 $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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