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Johnny Rockets was founded on the id that everyone deserves a pla ce where they can escape today"s facility world and experience the food, fun and also friendliness storage of feel-good Americana. On Ju ne 6, 1986, the first Johnny Rockets opened on trendy Melrose avenue in Los Angeles, giving its guest fast, familiar service, a straightforward menu, an excellent food and fun.
History that Johnny Rockets Group, Inc.
Johnny Rockets Group, Inc."s (JRG) restaurants market American nostalg ia with a menu of basic American food, served in a 1940s-style diner finish with an open up chrome kitchen, a chrome and also black formica coun ter, red vinyl seats, and countertop jukeboxes that play old melody fo r a nickel. Every year, the company serves up an ext than 22 million ham burgers come its guest in virtually 170 restaurants in 30 states, in coun tries roughly the world, and also on imperial Caribbean cruise lines. The rest aurants" signature item are four hamburgers: The Original, a hand-sh aped hamburger; The Double, with two patties, cheddar cheese, and a s pecial sauce; #12, through cheddar cheese and also red, red sauce; and also St. Lo uis, v bacon, Swiss cheese, and St. Louis sauce. The balance of th e menu consists of number of "classic" sandwiches, such together a BLT, a hot dog/chili dog, American fries, chili, and a couple of other items. Malts a nd shakes space hand-dipped and come v an extra serving on the next in the mixing canister, similar to the old diners supplied to do. Beverage s encompass Coca-Cola flavored through cherry, chocolate, lemon, or vanill a. Apple pie, baked new on the premises, is easily accessible with ice cream crea m or Tillamook cheddar cheese and also is offered with a small record Americ one flag.
Founding the company on a Dream
Ronn Teitelbaum established Johnny Rockets in 1986, at the period of 46, aft er marketing his successful, Beverly Hills-based chain of good men"s cl othing stores. Return he had no experience in the restaurant busine ss, it had actually been his dream come own and operate a 1940s-style diner. Tei telbaum"s restaurant reflected the nostalgia that felt because that his very own chil dhood memory of the 1940s, such as the friendliness and also the cleanli ness of old-time diners, however his idea likewise coincided through a surging in retro dining concepts.
Teitelbaum took a year and also a half to setup his very first Johnny Rockets bu rger and also malt shop, making use of the very same attention to detail that he offered t o his men"s clothing business. Teitelbaum sought come recreate the hamb urger of his childhood memories. The cooked hamburgers through a number o f seasoning combinations till he uncovered the right flavor. A favourite employee story exemplified the extremes Teitelbaum take it to attain per fection in every detail. After ~ Teitelbaum had consumed a delicious tuna fish sandwich in ~ a Los Angeles restaurant, he went back to the restaur ant through a flashlight after ~ hours and looked in the dumpster because that an e mpty tuna can to watch which brand the agency used.
Teitelbaum"s $250,000 restaurant project incorporated an 844-squar e-foot malt shop with 20 red vinyl stools. Cynical friends and rest aurant company consultants thought that the small-scale ide coul d no succeed. Lock assumed that peak meal times would require too lo ng a wait and that the shop can not preserve an adequate level the b usiness throughout slow business hours, between lunch and also dinner, and lat e at night. In addition, the high-fat menu, through hamburgers, fried po tatoes, and also ice cream shakes, did not fit the stereotype that the Calif ornian"s choice for salad and pasta.
The moment Johnny Rockets opened on chic Melrose avenue in Los Angele s, customers filled the restaurant, and a heat of 30 customers developed at the door. The wait staff, pull on in white, 1940s-style soda jerk uniforms, combined malts top top 30-year-old spindle mixers (which forced frequent repair) and also supplied nickels to client to play the vintag e countertop jukeboxes. Instead of making use of a maker that would squeeze the juices indigenous the fresh ground beef, kitchen staff hand-patted ham burgers and also cooked them to order. The burgers were served wrapped in document on a cardboard plate. Outside the restaurant, over the smooth white exterior, a 1940s-style logo blazed, "Johnny Rockets," in yello w neon ~ above a red and blue lighted background. On its very first day that busi ness, June 6, 1987, Johnny Rockets stayed open until 5:00 a.m. To ser ve all of the day"s customers.
Attracting a panoply of Los Angeles residents of every ages, the restau rant continual a constant flow of customers in the days that follow ed. Company hours covered from 11:00 a.m. Come 12:00 midnight except F ridays and also Saturdays, as soon as the shop stayed open up until 2:00 a.m. The h igh sales cycled at around every 30 minutes. Johnny Rockets offered 600 to 700 customers per day, involving about 19 percent tak eout sales. With customers spending more than $5.00 each, revenue s got to $1 million the first year.
Within the very first year of procedure Johnny Rockets flourished into a tiny c hain through franchises and company-owned stores. In the Los Angeles space a, restaurants opened up in Westwood, Sherman Oaks, and also Beverly Hills. F ranchises in Atlanta and also San Francisco resulted when interested parti es approached Johnny Rockets to patent the concept. Johnny Rockets r estaurants also opened in Minneapolis and also Chicago. In an short article in t the October 24, 1988, Nation"s Restaurant News, Teitelbaum attr ibuted the success of Johnny Rockets come his own inexperience in the r estaurant business, stating, "I didn"t understand it was impossible to execute o ver $1 million in 20 seats. I didn"t know civilization wouldn"t heat up in ~ midnight because that a hamburger, fries, and also a malt."
With intentions to further increase the chain Teitelbaum sought to prot ect the Johnny Rockets trade dress. The company won the an initial of that is trademark-related situations in brand-new York in august 1989. Regardless of the objec tions the Teitelbaum, the Johnny Rock-it bar and grill opened in brand-new Y ork City in early 1989. Teitelbaum competed that the value of the Jo hnny Rockets surname was undermined, and also he sustained that view v the deposition that a prospective franchisee wake up to open a Johnny Ro ckets restaurant in new York because of worry that the similar name would cause confusion. Trademark infringement precedents aided win a commonwealth injunction that prevented the lounge from utilizing "Johnny" or "rock" in its new name. The company also filed suit versus Suzy Q"s diners in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for profession dress violation.
Johnny Rockets broadened internationally, capitalizing ~ above the appeal o f American popular culture abroad. Teitelbaum supplied a business affix ion native his clothing organization to open a Johnny Rockets restaurant in Tokyo in September 1989. City center Restaurants, which activate a v ariety of casual dining chain in London, opened a Johnny Rockets the re in 1990. In addition, a prospective franchisee approached the comp any type of to open a Johnny Rockets in Melbourne, Australia, which go into advance at this time. By June 1992 the company had expanded to 2 8 shop in the chain, with 6 company-owned units and 22 franchises .
The Johnny Rockets dining principle found many believers, consisting of Llo yd Sugarman. Originally an elderly vice-president that Johnny Rockets, Suga rman got ownership that the an initial San Francisco restaurant, a 42-s tool location in the Marina, and franchise rights to the mountain F rancisco bay area. Sugarman boosted expansion in northern California wit h two brand-new shops in the summer the 1992, when negotiations for locatio ns in mountain Jose, Santa Rosa, and Fisherman"s kai in mountain Francisco pr ogressed.
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Sugarman attained the Fisherman"s Wharf place with some difficulty , but it would set a far-reaching precedent because that the company. The city of mountain Francisco did not permit fast-food restaurants in ~ Fisherman"s W harf, in an effort to maintain the historic integrity the the area. Th e city did permit a Johnny Rockets malt shop, however, together cooked-to-or der hamburgers and made-to-order shakes differed indigenous fast-food resta urants, v precooked sandwiches come be obtainable upon request and also di spensed premixed shakes. The issue defined the industry niche that john ny Rockets occupied, between fast-food and also casual dining restaurants. That niche served customers who had actually grown weary of quick food, who wa nted complete service and also an inexpensive, fresh-cooked meal. Johnny Rocke ts accommodated the customer base with quick food preparation, but f urther differentiated itself with wait civilization who were well-known to sudden ly break into song and dance routines using ketchup bottles as microp hones. Johnny Rockets" wait employee learned as plenty of as ripe dance routi nes, to old song on the countertop jukeboxes such together "Great Balls that Fire" and also "Respect."
Expansion and also Leadership alters in the 1990s
In mid-1992 the firm opened a new burger and also malt shop every three to four weeks. The chain expanded in southerly California with brand-new st ores in Encino and also Agora Hills in august 1992. Brand-new franchises opened roughly the united States, in Miami; Baltimore; Scottsdale, Arizona; S unriver, Oregon; and Burlington, Massachusetts. Unit-level sales aver age $850,000 each year with just 20 come 26 seats. Expansion of the chain compelled experienced management in franchise development, and Ray Cabana, formerly of Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken, ended up being president in June 1992. Teitelbaum continued to be chairman and also CEO.