Burger 21 opening more metro Atlanta locations

Burger 21, a Tampa fast-casual restaurant chain that opened its first metro Atlanta location near the Mall of Georgia in Buford last summer, has signed franchisee deals for three more metro locations.

New restaurants are planned for Johns Creek and Alpharetta in Fulton County, and Dunwoody near Perimeter Mall in DeKalb County. A company executive said metro Atlanta will continue to be a target for future expansion.

Burger 21’s menu features 21 specialty burgers under names such as Tex-Mex Haystack, Spicy Thai Shrimp, Black Bean and Chicken Marsala. The 2,990-square-foot restaurants also serve craft beer and wine.

The fast-casual restaurant category, which includes Zaxby’s, Jersey Mike’s and Dickey’s Barbecue, is fast growing, according to Technomics, which tracks restaurants. Technomics reported 51 percent of consumers say they eat at fast casual restaurants at least once a month, up from 43 percent in 2011.

Burger 21 said it has signed new franchise agreements with businessman Jim McGlynn, who plans to open a restaurant early next year in south Alpharetta and in 2016 near Perimeter Mall.

Another agreement was signed with Alex Kim, a former Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee. Kim plans to open a Burger 21 in Johns Creek later this year.

The current Gwinnett County location at Woodward Crossing is owned and operated by Corley and Meg Steward, who plan to open a second location in the north Alpharetta this year.

In announcing the new locations, Dan Stone, vice president of franchise development of Front Burner Brands, which is the management company for Burger 21, said the company continues to look for Georgia franchisees.

Franchisee candidates must have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and at least $200,000 in liquid assets. They can expect to invest about $414,495 to $832,495 to open a restaurant, in addition to an initial $40,000 franchise fee.

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