In an attempt to attract a younger demographic of customer, Johnny Rockets is launching a new design prototype that mixes the contemporary and classic feels of the brand.
It retains the vintage, rock ‘n’ roll style that harkens Baby Boomers back to their youth while splashing a warmer palate of colors on the inside to create an emotional connection to Millennials and tweens, says Cris Pangan, vice president of development at Johnny Rockets.
“We found out that we’re getting a lot of younger customers,” Pangan says. “With the new image, we’re catering to the younger generation by treating them and introducing them to the simpler times of days gone by.”
Updated design elements include colorful, neon signs; pop art-inspired decorative disks; red and ivory vinyl upholstery; ceiling cove lights; spoke lighting with up-and-down shades; and recessed down lighting to add visual interest and comfort. Rock-ola Jukeboxes, the vintage, brand name jukeboxes, are also a key design feature.
“We’re increasing not just the dining experience overall with the food, but also the overall customer perception, by improving the dining environment,” Pangan says. “It’s not just enhancing the visual appeal, but also the emotional appeal.”
Not all existing stores will immediately remodel to reflect the new prototype. Pangan says most stores are under a franchise agreement that requires franchisees to refresh their stores every seven to 10 years, so they will renovate according to their contract.
To keep options open for developers to adapt stores according to their markets, Johnny Rockets retains multiple prototypes: the totally redesigned prototype; a tourist-themed one for markets near touris attractions; an urban one, packaged for a big city; a traditional one, based on the original architecture; and a classic-hybrid, which blends the old design with elements of the new.
Pangan says the adaptability is encouraged, especially as the brand pushes more aggressive domestic and international expansion. "We encourage them to do that, to where Johnny Rockets is most relevant to the local neighborhood and market."
The redesigned stores, of which there are now 12, are already garnering a positive response from both customers and the real estate market.
“We’ve had a lot of calls from retail developers and shopping center owners,” Pangan says. “Basically, they get excited about our new look and hope we can go develop in their malls and shopping centers. It’s very, very encouraging.”
By Sonya Chudgar