The BurgerFi brand is expanding beyond Florida with franchises set to open this year in Cary, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Six additional Florida stores also will open with Winter Park, Aventura, Tampa, Westin, and Naples all getting locations.
A store at 2477 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale is the next location for launch, said Steve Lieber, who oversees the opening of all BurgerFi restaurants and handles the training of each franchise owner. The Sunrise location is set to open around April 15.
Lieber said an additional 100 stores around the country are currently under contract for franchise. The franchise's original Lauderdale-by-the-Sea location drew more than 249,000 guests in its first year, Lieber said, adding that the Delray Beach store is on target to do about the same.
Lieber credits BurgerFi's "all natural approach" for its success, particularly as "everyone's talking about pink slime" and growing increasingly concerned with the origins of the ground beef they are consuming.
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Though they are not an organic restaurant -- a designator that Lieber finds a bit dubious in practice -- they focus on sourcing beef that is "never, never" treated with hormones or other less-than-desirable additives.
"We're trying to create a new segment to the 'better burger' market," Lieber said.