The Habit Burger Grill chain is launching a franchising program for the first time with the goal of building the California brand on the East Coast. Russ Bendel, Habit Burger’s chief executive, said Monday that the better-burger brand has been growing steadily as a company-operated chain since 2007, when private-equity firm KarpReilly LLC acquired the then-35-year-old concept and began evolving it as a more contemporary, fast-casual brand. At the time of KarpReilly’s ...

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