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"Beyond the Better Burger" Concept Burger 21 Expands North; Signs Two Franchise Deals for Five Restaurants in Charlotte, N.C. & Greater Washington, D.C. Areas

- First Franchised Burger 21 Location Opens Today in Orlando -

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Burger 21®, a new fast casual concept founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., announced today that it has signed a franchise deal to open one restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., and a multi-unit 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.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120920/NY78263LOGO )

Current franchisees of The Melting Pot®, Todd Dennis and Brian Neel, plan to initially develop one Burger 21 restaurant in Charlotte, N.C.  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," said Brian Neel.  "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 -- including Alexandria, Va., Tysons Corner, Va. and Fair Lakes, Va., as well as one unit in Rockville, Md.  

"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," said Ray Patel.  "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."

"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, multi-unit owners with major brands like Dunkin'," said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. "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."

These new franchise agreements come as Burger 21 opens its first franchised restaurant today in Orlando at 4192 Conroy Rd., Suite 109 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, Fla., Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C. 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, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. (EST). To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx or contact Ashley Pollard, franchise sales associate for Burger 21 at 813-425-6252 or [email protected].

Burger 21 is seeking single and multi-unit 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 Dec. 21, 2012.  Reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.  

To learn more about ownership opportunities with Burger 21, contact Dan Stone, vice president of franchise development for Front Burner Brands, at 813-425-6208 and [email protected] or visit http://www.burger21franchise.com.

About Burger 21
With five locations open in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla., and 10 in development in Orlando, Atlanta, Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C., Burger 21 is a "beyond the better burger" fast-casual franchise concept founded in 2010. Burger 21 is a chef-inspired brand with offerings including 21 unique burger and slider creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground beef to chicken, turkey, shrimp and tuna burgers, made-to-order salads, Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs, hand-breaded chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-dipped shakes, floats and sundaes. Burger 21 is an affiliate of Front Burner Brands, a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit http://www.burger21.com.

About Front Burner Brands
Front Burner Brands (formerly known as TGS Restaurant Management) is a restaurant management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. It is affiliated with the corporate owners of and its management services extended to The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., founded in 1975 with more than 140 locations in North America and more than 20 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with five locations open in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla., and 10 in development in Orlando, Atlanta, Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C., GrillSmith with six locations in the Tampa Bay area and other new franchise concepts in development. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.

SOURCE Burger 21

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