Burger 21 Ranked No. 5 Restaurant Among Fast Casual's Top 100 "Movers and Shakers"

Award-Winning Fast-Casual Chain's President Recognized as One of "Top 25 People" 

June 05, 2014 // Franchising.com // TAMPA, Fla. – Burger 21®, a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot® Restaurants, Inc. franchise company based in Tampa, Fla., has been named one of Fast Casual's Top 100 "Movers and Shakers" of 2014. As the youngest concept of the top 10 brands, Burger 21 ranked No. 5, up from No. 22 last year, based on its double digit increase in average unit volume and recent expansion. In addition, Burger 21 President Mark Johnston was recognized in the publication as one of the "Top 25 People" for his continued strategic leadership in the growth and development of the brand.

"We're honored to be recognized as an industry leader for the second consecutive year," said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. "This latest ranking demonstrates our brand's continued momentum and will further position Burger 21 as a leader in the better-burger segment. As fast casual dining continues to outpace the restaurant industry, we will remain focused on our future development while providing guests with a gourmet experience without the gourmet price."

The Fast Casual Top 100 "Movers and Shakers" listing offers a glimpse into the frontrunners of the fast casual industry based on multiple criteria including innovation, unit and revenue growth and overall contribution to the industry. The ranking also includes the industry's 25 most influential executives as well as the year's top technologies and menu trends.

"The competition, in its ninth year, was fiercer than ever as we had nearly 900 nominations from which to choose," said Cherryh Butler, senior editor of FastCasual.com. "Luckily, we had a few experts to help us evaluate the nominations for the ultimate rankings. Joining me as judges were Darren Tristano, EVP of Technomic, Nate Riggs, president of NR Media Group, Rob D'orsi, executive corporate chef at Food IQ; and Joni Doolin, CEO and founder of People Report."

Since launching its aggressive growth plan in fall 2011, Burger 21 has 12 open locations and 20 franchised restaurants in development across the country. To further fuel development throughout the U.S., Burger 21 will host a live webinar June 5 at 2 p.m. EDT. To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx or contact Ashley Pollard, franchise development manager for Burger 21, at 813-425-6252 or apollard@burger21.com.

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 $416,133 – $833,895. The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

To learn more about ownership opportunities with Burger 21, contact Ashley Pollard, franchise development manager for Burger 21, at 813-425-6252 or apollard@burger21.com, or visit www.burger21franchise.com.

About Burger 21

With 12 locations open in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, and 20 in development in seven states, 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 creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground Certified Angus Beef® to chicken, turkey, vegetarian, shrimp and tuna burgers, specialty salads, all-beef hot dogs, chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-crafted 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 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 135 locations in North America and more than 25 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with 12 locations open in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, and 20 in development in seven states, and GrillSmith with five locations in the Tampa Bay area. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.

SOURCE Burger 21

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