Burger 21 Signs First Franchise Deals for Three Units in Orlando and Announces Two New Company-Owned Locations in Development

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 27, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- Burger 21® (http://www.burger21.com), a new fast-casual "beyond the better burger" concept founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., announced today that it has sold its first-ever franchises with two deals signed for a total of three franchise units in the Orlando market. As the company kick-starts its franchise growth, it is continuing to expand in the Tampa Bay area with two new corporate-owned restaurants in development.

Target areas for site selection for the first Burger 21 franchise locations in the Orlando market include Lake Buena Vista, Dr. Phillips and Winter Garden.

Fittingly, Burger 21's first franchise deals were signed on Feb. 21, an important day within Burger 21 culture because, on the 21st day of every month, the concept introduces a featured burger creation and signature shake available for an entire month.

"Our concept's success in Tampa has exceeded expectations, and we're excited to bring our crafted burgers and shakes to Orlando while continuing expansion efforts in the Tampa Bay area," said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. "We're confident that Orlando will embrace Burger 21 and its premium ingredients, innovative recipes and gourmet experience without the gourmet price."

Both slated to open this summer, Burger 21's new company-owned restaurants in the Tampa Bay market are being developed in New Tampa and Lakeland. Burger 21 New Tampa will seat 113 customers and consist of approximately 2,600 square feet of interior space plus a patio. It will be located in Trout Creek Commons at Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Trout Creek Drive. Burger 21 Lakeland, the company's fourth corporate-owned location in the Tampa Bay area, is in development at Lakeside Village, located on the corner of Harden Blvd. and Polk Parkway in Lakeland. It will seat 125 customers and consist of approximately 2,500 square feet of interior space plus a patio.

To expand its footprint throughout most of the U.S., Burger 21 has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy targeting locations situated in lunch/dinner fast-casual restaurant hubs. While initial expansions efforts are focused on Florida markets, franchise opportunities will be considered in many markets nationwide.

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 dstone@burger21.com or visit http://www.burger21franchise.com.

About Burger 21

With two locations open in Tampa, Fla., and five in development in Tampa and Orlando, Burger 21, a "beyond the better burger" fast-casual franchise concept founded in 2010, is a chef-inspired brand with offerings including 21 unique burger 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, and an extensive shake bar including hand-dipped floats, malts, shakes 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 15 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with two locations open in Tampa and five in development in Tampa and Orlando, GrillSmith with six locations in the Tampa Bay area and other new franchise concepts in development. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.

Media Contact:

Sandy D'Elosua
National Director of Communications

SOURCE Burger 21



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