Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breaking news: Burger 21 chain coming to Albany market

A typical Burger 21 meal.
The Capital Region is on the cusp of welcoming a new burger chain brand.

Burger 21, a new "better-burger franchise" founded by the owners of The Melting Pot restaurants, today announced the signing of franchise deals for the Albany and Sarasota, FL, territories.

The Albany decision will mark the first Burger 21 venue in the state.

 Mike Stygles and Bruce Anderson initially will develop one unit in Albany, with plans to expand throughout Upstate.

Stygles already has Melting Pot franchises in The Crossgates Mall in Guilderland and in Poughkeepsie. He and Anderson are partners in another in Syracuse. Previously, they were Outback Steakhouse franchise partners, according to a Burger 21 statement.

Burger 21, owned by Front Burner Brands, is known for its wide variety of signature burgers -- such as the Steak Marsala Burger as well as seafood, turkey and chicken burgers  -- and shakes served in what it regards as an upscale burger atmosphere. The brand also offers online ordering and a gluten-free menu in addition to its regular offerings. You can see the entire menu online.

"I feel very fortunate that the valuable support and experience offered by Front Burner Brands has given us the opportunity to further develop our portfolios with the company through a unique concept that truly goes beyond the better burger," Stygles said in a statement.

"I'm excited to get behind the grill and introduce the Albany community to Burger 21's diverse menu of crafted beef and non-beef burger creations, hand-dipped shakes, and more."

No specific location was mentioned in the statement.

Since fall 2011, Burger 21 has signed franchise agreements with eight different entities in seven states to develop a total of 12 franchised units.

According to Front Burner Brands, 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 cost of investment for one restaurant to be approximately $597,995 to $831,995. The initial franchise fee is $40,000. Reduced franchise fees apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.

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