Burger 21, a new fast casual concept founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc., announced today that it has signed a franchise deal to open a restaurant in Charlotte, N.C., and a multi-unit deal to develop four new restaurants throughout Fairfax County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md. These latest agreements are part of the brand's aggressive growth strategy to bring its crafted burgers and hand-dipped shakes to more cities across the country. To date, Burger 21 has five units open and 10 franchised restaurants in development along the East Coast.

Current franchisees of The Melting Pot, Todd Dennis and Brian Neel, plan to initially develop one Burger 21 restaurant in Charlotte, N.C. These business partners have more than two decades of franchising experience with the sister brand and operate two Melting Pot locations in the Charlotte area.

"As long-time Melting Pot franchisees, we feel Burger 21 is a natural growth extension for us and we know we'll be successful with the valuable support and experience offered by Front Burner Brands," Neel said. "We also know Charlotte inside and out and believe people will be really excited about this unique concept with its incredibly diverse menu of hand-crafted burgers and more."

As experienced franchisees and operators with Dunkin' Brands, Ray Patel, Joseph Yu, Bubuhai Patel and Nick Patel have signed on to develop four restaurants in the Greater Washington, D.C., area -- including Alexandria, Va., Tysons Corner, Va., and Fair Lakes, Va., as well as one unit in Rockville, Md.

"We have a great deal of franchising experience in the Greater D.C. area and look forward to bringing this fresh, new concept to residents in the surrounding communities," said Ray Patel. "With chef-inspired burgers, shakes, hot dogs, chicken tenders, salads and more, we are confident that Burger 21 will quickly become one of our guests' favorite lunch and dinner destinations."

These new franchise agreements come as Burger 21 opens its first franchised restaurant this week in Orlando, Fla., at 4192 Conroy Rd., Suite 109 in the Shoppes at Millenia.

Since February 2012, the burger franchise has signed six agreements to develop a total of 11 franchised units in the Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., Voorhees, N.J., Charlotte, N.C. and Washington. D.C., markets, for a total of 15 franchised and company-owned units on the East Coast.

To further fuel expansion in North Carolina, Virginia and other markets throughout the U.S., Burger 21 is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar at 1 p.m. on Nov. 29.

Read more about growth.

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