The Massachusetts-based burger chain founded by actor Mark Wahlberg's brother Paul Wahlberg in 2011 has been slinging a winning formula. After opening a location in Toronto and announcing plans to expand throughout Boston, Philadelphia, and Las Vegas, a new round of investments puts Wahlburgers on track to open an additional 27 locations in the next several years. All of the additional locations are being set up as franchises, with 20 new locations set to open up in Florida and seven in New York City. Additional locations will open in Canada as well, with Ontario first on the docket. Mark and his brother Donnie told the Boston Globe that they could eventually be looking at 300 locations nationwide.
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The celebrity angle to the concept has certainly helped, as has the A&E reality show of the same name.
Says brother Paul: "We're just fortunate that people are interested in it. The family name has some celebrity status to it. But we still have to live up to that." The show helps generate interest from franchisees as well, but not many make it past the application process. Wahlburger franchisees are required to have net worth of at least $5 million before they can sign on the dotted line.