August 2015 Hot Topic Intro Section

Johnny Rockets Hopes to Launch Gainesville Restaurants


Written By: Chris Eversole

Johnny Rockets is offering a tasty menu to Gainesville investors – offering the opportunity is invest in one or more of its three restaurant prototypes.

“Gainesville is a perfect market for us, with a large student population that has growing spending power, as well as many families with kids under 18 – which is our sweet spot,” said James Walker, president of franchise development and operations.

The restaurant chain, which offers fresh, made-to-order hamburgers, fries, shakes and other all-American fare in a relaxed and entertaining environment, takes the unique approach of publicizing opportunities in new markets, Walker said.

“We’ve found people who hadn’t considered partnering with us who become very excited by the opportunity,” he said.

Founded in 1986, Johnny Rockets has 20 locations in Florida among its more than 330 franchise and corporate locations in 27 countries. The three restaurant prototypes are:

• The traditional Johnny Rockets, with a large amount of seating and video display boards
• Johnny Rockets Express, featuring fast service in a smaller footprint
• Johnny Rockets Route 66, which offers drive-thru service

The company is looking for real estate in the Gainesville area for all three prototypes, Walker said.

“We want to partner with people who can meet a certain financial threshold, who have a strong interest in the community, and who fit our values,” he said. “We’re open to people with no restaurant experience, as well as ones who know the business and want to transfer over what they know.”

Johnny Rockets could end up with more than one Gainesville location over the next several years – with the options including one near campus, one in a shopping center and a drivethru, Walker said.

As it grows, the business continues to make upgrades, including installing equipment that expedites service and providing electronics that allow customers to select music, play games and order food on digital apps, Walker said.

“We try to keep consumers engaged while providing high quality food that meets the demands of today,” he said.

For more information about franchise opportunities and the brand, visit www.johnnyrockets.comC

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