Johnny Rockets is ramping up expansion efforts with two recent store openings in Abu Dhabi (in the United Arab Emirates) and Tennessee.

Johnny Rockets franchise partners Wael and Zaher Samman opened their seventh restaurant in the United Arab Emirates. The new 7,000-square-foot restaurant is located at Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island, 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi and at the heart of this vibrant motorsports, entertainment, and meeting complex.

Long-time Johnny Rockets franchisees, the Samman brothers opened their first Johnny Rockets in the United Arab Emirates in July 1996. Since then, they have opened five additional Dubai locations and plan to open two more restaurants in Abu Dhabi and another location in Dubai by the end of the year. 

The Sammans also recently acquired rights to the Oman market, with their first location in Masqat slated for early 2013.  

With guest seating for 200 inside and 200 on the outside patio, the restaurant is well suited to serve this bustling entertainment venue.

“We’re thrilled to introduce our unique, all-American Johnny Rockets dining experience to everyone visiting Yas Island,” says Wael Samman. “Our delicious food, friendly service, and classic, feel-good ambiance are the perfect way to start off or end a day of golfing; visiting the waterpark; driving at the Yas Racing School, Drag Racing School or Yas Kartzone; or attending a special event at the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit F1 racetrack.”

Adds Steve Devine, president of Johnny Rockets International, “The Sammans are superb franchisees, solid operators, and savvy businessmen. We look forward to their continued expansion throughout the Middle East.”

Johnny Rockets also reopened at Opry Mills recently, a little more than two years after a flood devastated this popular shopping destination. The 2,700-square-foot restaurant reflects the company’s new design prototype that integrates modern architectural elements with Johnny Rockets’ traditional, all-American heritage.

With its mosaic-tiled frontage, colorful neon signs, sleek red and ivory vinyl upholstery, and liberal use of chrome, the overall look is trendy, yet timeless. Guests returning to Johnny Rockets—or visiting the restaurant for the first time—will note a clean, contemporary design that reflects the fun and friendliness of feel-good Americana.

As it did before the flood, the restaurant offers hamburgers made with USA-raised all-naturalfresh beef;crispy American fries and sweet potato fries served with a ketchup smiley face; hand-dipped shakes; and classic sandwiches, all with dancing servers, twirled straws, and jukebox music completing the shopper-focused dining experience.

Owner and long-time franchise partner Lloyd Sugarman opened his first Johnny Rockets in San Francisco in 1992. He and son Jason currently operate 14 locations in Rhode Island, Minnesota, California, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, with a new restaurant slated for Acton, Massachusetts, this fall. 

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Opry Mills community once again and are proud to be part of its renaissance,” Sugarman says. “We encourage locals to come see ‘what’s new’ at Johnny Rockets, and also look forward to introducing new guests to our all-American dining experience.”

Adds John Fuller, CEO of Johnny Rockets, “With Lloyd and Jason’s marketing and operations acumen, I have no doubt that this will be another successful Johnny Rockets restaurant.”

A grand reopening celebration, planned for early September, will include menu sampling, prize giveaways, photo opportunities, and a host of other interactive events to officially welcome Johnny Rockets back to the Nashville area. 

Industry News, NextGen Casual, Johnny Rockets