Google the terms "burger" and "Fort Lauderdale" and more than four million results pop up.
Even if you don't count the Big Three burger chains -- McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's -- there's still Five Guys, CG burgers, Energy Kitchen, BurgerFi, the soon-to-open Shula burger, Elevation burger in Coral Springs. And those are just the chains. That's not even counting the mom-and-pop shops.
Even with such a saturated burger market, Tampa-based Burger 21
is looking to expand to South Florida.
As an already established chain, we figure they must have at least
some sensibility in terms of expansion. We probably should have offered them a warm welcome, but instead we grilled them about whether there's something that would differentiate Burger 21 from other
restaurants in this already saturated burger market.
According to Communications Manager Alisha dos Santos, "Burger 21 is a chef-inspired brand with offerings including 21 unique burger creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground beef to chicken, turkey, shrimp, and tuna burger, made-to-order salads, Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs and an extensive shake bar including hand-dipped shakes, floats, and sundaes."
Alright, so it kind of sounds like a combination of Elevation burger, Steak 'n Shake, and shrimp burgers all rolled into one. That is a bit of a different angle.
We asked dos Santos why the company thinks Burger 21 is a good fit for the South Florida market.
She said that at their already existing locations, more than 40 percent of the burgers sold are non-beef and 69 percent of sales are derived from non-beef options such as salads and shakes. There actually is not a similar concept in this particular market.
Are they actually heading down south? Who knows. At the moment, the chain is seeking franchisees looking to claim a stake in the company. Even with a different angle, it's hard to say whether investors will want to jump into the crowded burger market. But, if the gourmet fast-food trend keeps up, we wouldn't be surprised to see a Burger 21 pop-up. Possibly at a location near you.