Click Here for More Articles on FOOD & WINE

Burger 21 Signs Franchise Agreements to Open First Restaurants In Chicago and Dallas

Article Pixel

Burger 21 , a new better burger franchise founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. franchise company based in Tampa, Fla., announced today it has signed a franchise agreement to develop its first restaurant in Chicagoland, marking the brand's entry into Illinois. Additionally, the company signed a franchise deal for the development of one restaurant in Dallas. Burger 21 currently has 15 open locations and more than 20 franchised restaurants in development across the country.

"We are thrilled to announce the signing of these new franchise agreements that will bring our chef-inspired brand to Dallas and Chicagoland for the very first time," said Mark Johnston, president of Burger 21. "With the development of these new restaurants, we see great potential to further expand the brand's footprint in both Texas and Illinois. We look forward to building on this momentum as we continue to drive our national expansion efforts across the country."

Ed Karayanes and Art Chmiel bring years of multi-unit restaurant operations experience with McDonald's and plan to develop the first Illinois restaurant in the Rosemont area of Chicagoland, which is slated to open by fall 2015.

"We were attracted to Burger 21 not only for its strong unit economics, but also for its unique variety of high quality menu items and its 'beyond the better burger' experience, which is unlike any other in the city," said Chmiel, who plans to serve as the restaurant's general manager. "We look forward to opening the first Burger 21 in the state and eventually expanding the brand's footprint in the greater Chicago area."

Additionally, Ken and Chantrell Goodgames plan to develop their Burger 21 location in the Irving-Las Colinas area of Dallas. Ken will oversee the restaurant's daily operations when it opens in the latter half of 2015. The franchisees plan to open additional locations in the Dallas market over the next few years. Earlier this year, the brand inked a franchise deal with another franchise group to bring its first Texas restaurant to Austin, which is slated to open by summer 2015.

"We always wanted to open our own better burger business and Burger 21 truly exceeded our expectations of what we wanted in a restaurant," said Ken. "We are also proud to work with a brand that supports our community through charitable initiatives that align with our personal values. We are confident that Burger 21 will become a standout dining destination for Dallas residents."

To further fuel Burger 21's national expansion, the company is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar on Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. EST. To register, or to learn more about franchising opportunities with Burger 21, please visit contact Ashley Pollard, franchise development manager for Burger 21, at 813-425-6252

Burger 21 was named one of QSR's "Best Franchise Deals" and also earned the No. 5 ranking in Fast Casual's Top 100 "Movers and Shakers" of 2014, up from No. 22 the prior year. Additionally, Burger 21 President Mark Johnston was acknowledged as one of the "Top 25 People" for his continued strategic leadership in the growth and development of the brand. Last year, the franchise's gluten-free menu received the No. 1 ranking in the "Top 10 Menu Innovations" category.

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 $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 $422,083 $974,395.The initial franchise fee is $40,000; however, reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

To learn more aboutownership opportunities with Burger 21, contact Ashley Pollard, franchise development manager for Burger 21, at 813-425-6252 or visit

About Burger 21
With 15 locations open in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Virginia, and more than 20 in development in eight 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, fresh 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

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You