In November 2009, the owners of The Melting Pot Restaurants had a vision to create a modern fast-casual burger restaurant that offered a unique variety of high-quality food in a hip environment with lasting appetite appeal to people of all ages. After all, burgers are and will always be an American passion.
Since the dawn of what’s been called the “Era of Upscale Burgers” in 2001, chefs in America had been elevating the burger and creating unique culinary interpretations, resulting in more refined and demanding palates among burger-loving consumers. Working with the team at our restaurant support center, President, Mark Johnston and his wife, VP of Concept Development, Arlene Johnston, had a strong desire to create a restaurant that would stand out as a unique concept and satisfy those palates.
After researching and taste-testing hundreds of burgers, the team founded Burger 21 and went to work creating the restaurant’s menu, décor and culture.
The first Burger 21 location opened in the Westchase area of Tampa, Fla., in November 2010 bringing people of all ages together to enjoy innovative and delicious recipes for gourmet burgers, fries, salads, shakes and more in a modern and fun environment. From the start, it was typical to see tables filled with families of three generations engaged in conversation over Burger 21’s unique burger creations such as The Ahi Tuna, Tex-Mex Haystack and The Skinny turkey burger and signature shakes like Bananas Foster and Key Lime Pie.