Burger 21, a new fast casual concept founded by the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., recently announced that in 2012, it signed franchise agreements with six different entities in six states to develop a total of 11 restaurants.

Most recently, the Tampa, Fla.-based concept opened its first franchised restaurant in Orlando. The brand also signed franchise agreements to develop four restaurants in Washington, D.C. over the next few years, in addition to franchise agreements in Atlanta, Voorhees, N.J., and Charlotte, N.C. A second Orlando location is scheduled to open near the University of Central Florida in late February, said Mark Johnston, Burger 21 president and chief concept officer and president of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21.

"Since initially announcing our expansion plans, Burger 21 has had a strong year of franchise development," he said. "Our franchisees recognize the strength of our growing brand, knowing that their investment is supported by a management team with more than 25 years of franchise experience. Their confidence and passion for Burger 21 is what continues to drive the success of our development."

In addition to expanding the company's footprint in its existing growth markets, the brand plans to target additional areas including South Florida, Dallas and New York for future development in 2013.

To further fuel its expansion, Burger 21 is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host a live webinar at 2 p.m. EST on Jan. 16. To register, visit www.burger21franchise.com/events.aspx.

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