Burger 21 Ends 2013 with Significant Same-Store Sales Growth; Increased Average Unit Volume

Award-Winning Fast Casual Chain Signed Eight New Franchise Agreements to Develop 14 Units and Opened Five Restaurants in 2013

TAMPA, Fla. - Jan. 27, 2014 // PRNewswire // - Burger 21®, a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot® Restaurants, Inc., announced today strong growth in 2013 with eight new franchise agreements signed to develop 14 units as part of its aggressive growth strategy to bring its crafted burgers and hand-spun shakes to more cities across the country. The average unit volume increased from $1.47 million to $1.75 million, a 19-percent increase over last year. Additionally, the company reported a 2.6-percent same-stores sales increase for its first two company-owned restaurants in Tampa, Fla.

The Tampa, Fla.-based "beyond the better burger" concept opened five restaurants in 2013, most recently in Ashburn, Va., Fort Myers, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. The brand also signed two agreements to develop its first franchise units in the Phoenix, Ariz. metro area, — marking the company's entry into the West. New agreements were also signed for Albany, N.Y., Cranberry Township, Pa., and Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs and Pembroke Pines, Fla. The first Burger 21 location in South Florida is expected to open in February in Davie, Fla.

"What an incredible year it has been for Burger 21. We've experienced strong growth and continued to receive recognition for being a leader in the fast casual segment," said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. "We're pleased to report our first increase in same-store sales and average unit volume, which will further position the brand as an attractive business model for single- and multi-unit operators. To build on last year's momentum, we plan to open 10 new units across five states in 2014 and will continue to focus on creating an exceptional dining experience for our guests."

To kick off 2014, Burger 21 will be exhibiting at Franchise Expo SouthFeb. 6-8 at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. Local entrepreneurs are invited to meet with the brand's franchise development team at Booth #605 to learn more about growth opportunities. The brand is continuing to target additional areas in Atlanta, Ga., Miami and Orlando Fla., Dallas, Houston and Greater Washington, D.C., for future development.

Recognition for Burger 21 in 2013 included being named one of Fast Casual's Top 100 "Movers and Shakers." The concept ranked No. 22 based on its variety of innovative recipes and recent expansion. In addition, the franchise's gluten-free menu received the No. 1 ranking in the "Top 10 Menu Innovations" category and Mark Johnston was recognized as one of the "Top 20 People" for his strategic leadership in the growth and development of the brand.

To further fuel its expansion, the company is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. EST. To register or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx.

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 $414,495 – $832,495. 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 11 locations open in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, and 18 in development in six 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, hand-breaded chicken tenders and an extensive shake bar including hand-spun 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 135 locations in North America and more than 25 locations currently in development, Burger 21 with 11 locations open in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, and 18 in development in six states, GrillSmith with six locations in the Tampa Bay area and other new franchise concepts in development. For more information, visit http://www.frontburnerbrands.com.

Contact:

Elayne Sommers
Fish Consulting
(954) 893-9150
esommers@fishconsulting.com

SOURCE Burger 21

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