|Founded||June 6, 1986
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Headquarters||Aliso Viejo, California, United States|
|Number of locations||320 (2010)|
|Key people||John Fuller, CEO|
|Products||American Food Choices|
|Revenue||$300 million (2010)|
|Owner(s)||RedZone Capital GP LLC|
Johnny Rockets is an American restaurant franchise whose concept is to create a classic American restaurant atmosphere. The theme is the diner-style restaurant that had become a common sight by the 1950s. Decor includes Coca-Cola advertising featuring nearly life-size cardboard illustrations of women in World War II armed services uniforms, individual jukebox stations, chrome accents and red vinyl seats. The staff at some locations are known to sing and dance every half-hour. Making a smiley face with ketchup on the paper plate when served French fries is a Johnny Rockets trademark.
The menu, presentation, counter seating and grilling area are based on an original restaurant from 1947 (still operating today), The Apple Pan in West Los Angeles. The restaurants feature a small two-sided menu, hamburgers wrapped in paper on cardboard plates, hamburgers grilled-to-order in full view of the counter-seated customers.
Johnny Rockets was founded on June 6, 1986, by Ronn Teitelbaum of Los Angeles, California, and "crafted as a 'nongimmicky' recreation of the 1940s-vintage malt shops of his childhood." The first restaurant was established as a 20-stool counter operation on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
In 1999, Royal Caribbean International featured a Johnny Rockets location onboard its Voyager of the Seas, making it the first ever "mobile" Johnny Rockets restaurant. From that point forward the cruise line has offered a Johnny Rockets location onboard all of their new cruise ships.
The world's largest Johnny Rockets franchise opened on April 25, 2006, inside the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park, California. The restaurant has more than 5,900 square feet (550 m2), with indoor seating for over 260 guests with an additional outdoor patio seating area. It is located in The Boardwalk section of the amusement park.
In February 2007, it was announced that Red Zone Capital, the private equity firm of Daniel Snyder, was set to acquire the chain. Snyder announced plans to expand the chain both within the United States and worldwide, including the launch of smaller outlets known as Johnny Rockets Express.
A sit-down restaurant owned by Six Flags (Red Zone is the largest shareholder), Trappers Adirondack Grill, was converted to a Johnny Rockets in June 2008.
In April 2009, the new Yankee Stadium opened with Johnny Rockets stands throughout the site. These stands serve traditional Johnny Rockets hamburgers, french fries, shakes, and malts among other menu items. FedEx Field, home of Washington Redskins (the stadium and team are both owned by Snyder, whose company owns Johnny Rockets), features Johnny Rockets concession areas.
In June 2012, American actor/producer Don Cheadle purchased two square acres in the Uptown neighborhood of Denver Colorado which will soon be converted to the world's largest Johnny Rockets location. Cheadle, an enthusiastic and frequent patron of the chain is expected to complete renovations by December 2013.
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