Burger 21 Takes A Big Bite Out Of 2015 With Franchise Growth And Plans For Brand Refresh

Award-Winning Fast Casual Chain Kicks off the Year with 21st Restaurant Opening and 2016 Expansion Plans

February 09, 2016 // Franchising.com // TAMPA, Fla. - Burger 21®, an award-winning, "beyond the better burger" fast casual franchise, announced today its 2015 franchise growth results, with six new franchise agreements signed representing six future restaurants, including the brand's first locations in Pennsylvania, Texas and Arkansas. This year, the brand will debut its first hybrid, free-standing restaurant and one of the first steps in a brand refresh plan announced last year. Also, to kick off 2016, Burger 21 opened its 21st restaurant in January and has more than 20 franchised restaurants in development in 11 states.

"Our 21st restaurant opening in Orland Park, Illinois represents a huge milestone for the Burger 21 brand," said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 founder and president. "In just five years, we've grown from a four-unit concept to a nationally recognized franchise with 21 open locations across eight states – a number that truly shows how far we've come. With extensive QSR experience, we're confident the local franchisees in Orland Park will further position Burger 21 as an innovator in the 'beyond the better burger' industry and remind consumers why our brand is different from the rest."

The company celebrated its five-year anniversary in 2015. It was a year of growth and planning for the future, with Burger 21 announcing the opening of six new restaurants, increasing its brand presence in new and existing markets, as well as executing eight leases in seven states. The excitement continues in 2016, as the company plans to open 10 additional restaurants, including Burger 21's first locations in Texas, Illinois and Michigan during the first quarter of the year. Additionally, the fast casual franchise will be developing the brand's first airport locations in the newly renovated Tampa International Airport.

"At the start of this new year – our sixth year in business – the Burger 21 team is proud to reflect on our tremendous growth and the exciting developments in store for our brand and franchisees in 2016," said Johnston. "As we open new restaurants in communities across the country and welcome new franchisees to the Burger 21 family, we continue our commitment to being bold, with innovation and quality that distinguishes us in the marketplace.'"

One of the company's biggest announcements in 2015 was enlisting branding and design consultancy Brand Architecture to rebrand the next generation of the Burger 21 experience. From a new logo and packaging to new chairs and uniforms, the updated Burger 21 visual identity will deliver a personality that is more aligned with the brand's culture, aspirations and customers.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with an award-winning agency like Brand Architecture to retell Burger 21's story with a fresh, new perspective that resonates with our loyal guests," added Johnston. "We're excited to provide an even greater customer experience for our guests and confident this brand refresh will position us for future growth across the country."

Additional restaurant openings in 2016 include Burger 21's new Ocala, Fla., location, which will be the first location to sport the brand's first full-service bar with cocktails and shaketails. Other new locations opening in 2016 include McAllen, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Novi, Mich. and Sterling, Va.

To fuel its national expansion plans, Burger 21 will be exhibiting at Franchise Expo South Feb. 11-13 at the NRG Center in Houston. Local entrepreneurs are invited to meet with the brand's franchise development team at Booth #603 to learn more about growth opportunities.

Recognition for Burger 21 includes being named one of Fast Casual's Top 100 "Movers and Shakers" for the last three consecutive years. Additionally, Burger 21 President Mark Johnston was acknowledged as one of Fast Casual's "Top 25 People" of 2014 for his continued strategic leadership in the growth and development of the brand. Burger 21 also was named one of QSR's "Best Franchise Deals" of 2014.

As the brand continues to expand across the U.S., 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 $600,000 and liquid assets of at least $250,000 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 $428,247 – $1,085,164. The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for veterans, minorities and Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

To learn more about ownership opportunities with Burger 21, contact Ashley Sawyer, director of franchise development for Burger 21, at 813-327-7881 or asawyer@burger21.com or visit burger21franchise.com.

About Burger 21

With 21 locations now open in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Texas, and more than 20 in development in 11 states, Burger 21 is a "beyond the better burger" fast casual franchise concept founded in 2010. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., 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, fresh salads, all-beef hot dogs, chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-crafted shakes, floats and sundaes. Since its inception, the company has provided more than $127,000 in contributions as part of its "B Charitable" initiative, in which it donates 10 percent of its restaurants' sales to local schools and charities on the 21st of each month. For more information, visit burger21.com.

SOURCE Burger 21


Ellie Mannix
Fish Consulting
(954) 893-9150


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