Tampa, Fla. -- Burger 21, founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, has executed its first franchise agreement in Michigan, under which a debut restaurant in Ann Arbor will open summer 2015.
Additionally, the company signed two franchise agreements for single units in Ocala, Florida, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The new deals are part of the fast-casual concept's growth strategy to expand its presence in new and existing markets nationwide.
To date, Burger 21 has 13 open locations and 25 franchised restaurants in development.
"Raleigh, Ocala and Ann Arbor represent three new markets where we are confident that Burger 21's diverse menu and unique dining experience will be extremely well received,” said Dan Stone, VP of franchise development for Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21. “All three of our new franchise groups come with great foodservice and franchising backgrounds and they all have a desire to open additional Burger 21 locations in the future."
Mohammad and Wisal Samaha, multi-unit Jimmy John's franchisees, plan to open the first Burger 21 location in the state of Michigan in Ann Arbor by summer 2015. John Usher, a nine-unit McDonald’s owner, and independent restaurant operator Ken DePasquale will open a restaurant in Ocala in the first half of 2015.
Mitch Neal, who has owned and operated eight Sonic drive-in locations, and Keith Smith, a seasoned restaurant operator, will open a Morrisville (Raleigh), North Carolina, unit by summer 2015.