Johnny Rockets, the 33-year old American restaurant chain, is on track to open 23 new restaurants this year across Asia, South America, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Contributing to the sweeping growth, as well as strong international sales and traffic increases, are the brand’s timeless American cuisine and signature experiential elements including dancing servers and ketchup art.
Leading the charge on the international front, bringing Johnny Rockets hand-crafted burgers, shareable sides and best-in-class indulgent shakes to markets around the globe, is Stephen O’Connor who recently joined the company as Senior Vice President, International Business, in May.
“Our success outside of the U.S. is a critical aspect of our company’s growth and is contributing to our current momentum,” says O’Connor. “Our rapid expansion stems largely from our timeless all-American brand that deeply and instantly connects with consumers around the globe. The combination of our craveable menu items, engaging experiential elements and casual California-themed décor creates a unique dining occasion for our guests that keeps them coming back for more.”
Johnny Rockets has already opened eight restaurants this year in Brazil (2), South Korea (2), Chile, Mexico, Peru and North Cyprus, with an additional 15 openings scheduled through December in Brazil (3), Italy (2), Nigeria (2), Spain, Oman, Chile, Indonesia, South Korea, Peru, Mexico and Bangladesh.
As part of the global expansion – including the brand’s first restaurants in Spain and Oman this October, and its recent opening in Rome on September 19th – Johnny Rockets is investing in the rollout of a new store “Fusion” design for new locations.
“Our new design is an opportunity to lean into the brand’s nostalgic elements like our juke boxes, soda fountains and California heritage, and combine that with contemporary elements such as vibrant murals,” says O’Connor. “We are also remodeling existing units with key Fusion elements that create a unique dining experience.”
The Johnny Rockets franchisee in Italy, Groppetti Giangiacomo, currently owns four restaurants in Brescia, outside of Milan; this is the company’s first restaurant in Rome and is opening through a sub-franchise agreement. Giangiacomo also plans to open another Johnny Rockets restaurant later this year in Bergamo for a total of six by year-end.
“Italian consumers appreciate good food and ambience,” adds Giangiacomo. “The taste and quality of our menu items and the inviting décor have surpassed the expectations of our guests. Based on our strong reception in the market, we look forward to bringing Johnny Rockets to customers throughout Italy.”