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Johnny Rockets

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The Johnny Rockets Group Inc.
Johnny Rockets
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedJune 6, 1986; 38 years ago (1986-06-06)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
FounderRonn Teitelbaum
Headquarters1855 Boston Rd Suite 300
Wilbraham, Massachusetts, U.S. 01095[1]
Number of locations
385 (2016)[2]
Decrease 147 (2021)
Area served
Key people
Lee Sanders, President, CEO, Board of Directors
ProductsBurgers, milkshakes, french fries, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs, soft drinks[3]
RevenueUS$ 300 million (2012)[4][5]
ParentIndependent (1986–2007)
RedZone Capital (2007–2013)
Sun Capital Partners (2013–2020)
FAT Brands (2020–present)

The Johnny Rockets Group Inc. is an American restaurant franchise whose themed decor is based upon 1950s diner-style restaurants. As of April 2024, the company operates 90 locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Décor includes Coca-Cola advertising, featuring nearly life-size cardboard illustrations of women in World War II armed services uniforms (see WASP - Women Airforce Service Pilots), individual jukebox stations, chrome accents and red vinyl seats.

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. Hamburgers are grilled-to-order in full view of the customers and are served wrapped in paper in metal baskets.[6][7][8] One location in Hawaii is called "Rock 'n Fun" and also has an arcade.[9]


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.[7] This location permanently closed on October 26, 2015.[10] Ronn Teitelbaum died on September 11, 2000, at age 61.[7]

Johnny Rockets at Six Flags Over Texas

In February 2007, it was announced[11] that RedZone 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. Snyder recruited industry veteran Lee Sanders from Buffalo Wild Wings, formerly with Dunkin Brands, General Mills, and Pepsico, to serve as president and CEO, and board member. Sanders ran the business for almost 4 years.

A sit-down restaurant owned by Six Flags Great Escape (RedZone was the largest shareholder at the time), Trappers Adirondack Grill, was converted to a Johnny Rockets in June 2008.[12] A few years later Six Flags New England would also get a Johnny Rocket's near the Superman: Ride Of Steel.[13]

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. FedExField, home of the Washington Commanders (the stadium and team were owned by Snyder, whose company owned Johnny Rockets at the time), features Johnny Rockets concession areas.[14]

The world's largest Johnny Rockets franchise opened on June 6, 2012, at the corner of Abraham Lincoln Avenue and Bolivar Avenue in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. The restaurant has more than 6,000 square feet (560 m2) and seating for more than 200 guests.[15]

In 2013, RedZone Capital Management sold the company to Sun Capital Partners.[16]

Johnny Rockets in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, an international location

On August 13, 2020, Johnny Rockets was acquired by FAT Brands (parent company of Fatburger) for $25 million.[17]


Johnny Rockets operates restaurants in Australia, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, Nigeria, Northern Cyprus, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.[18]

The first Johnny Rockets restaurant in Pakistan was opened in 2013 in Karachi.[19][20] and later in Lahore and Islamabad in 2014.[21] Johnny Rockets opened its first branch in Paraguay on December 16, 2016, in Shopping Mariscal, Asuncion.[22][23] In 2016, they also opened branches in Peru and Bolivia.[citation needed]

The first European Johnny Rockets restaurant was opened in Brescia, Italy, on September 22, 2016, in Elnòs Shopping Center.

Johnny Rockets Canada had five Canadian locations, two located in Victoria, British Columbia and two located in Vancouver, British Columbia, but they closed them in 2022. [24] There is still one location remaining in Windsor, Ontario.[25]

Several Royal Caribbean International cruise ships have Johnny Rockets restaurants operating on board.

In popular culture[edit]

It was mentioned in the song "Westside Story" by 90s pop boyband LFO by member the late Rich Cronin's rap verse off their debut self-titled album in 1999.

In 2009, the company and CEO John Fuller was featured in the hit TV show Undercover Boss on CBS in the US and on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

The sixth episode of the anime series Blood Blockade Battlefront features a parody of the restaurant called "Jack & Rockets" which the characters Leonardo Watch and Nej order from a lot.

The action/comedy series Wrestlicious featured comedy sketches with "50s Girl Shauna Na" which were filmed at Johnny Rockets in downtown Tampa Florida.[citation needed]

An American black comedy crime drama thriller series Barry alluded to Johnny Rockets in LA during episode 3 of season 3.

The rock and roll and metal inspired and anime styled fighting video game series Guilty Gear features a parody of the restaurant by the name of Danny Missiles, which has survived into the near end of the 22nd Century and is frequented by the cast.

In the 2012 sixth season (episode 5) of The Big Bang Theory Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz talks to her husband Howard Wolowitz about him talking too much about being an astronaut and him stating they just had dinner at Johnny Rockets.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Company". Archived from the original on July 4, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Johnny Rockets Celebrates 30 Countries in 30 Years" (Press release). January 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Johnny Rockets".}
  4. ^ Klein, Danny (August 13, 2020). "Johnny Rockets Sold for $25 Million to Fatburger Owner". FSR Magazine.
  5. ^ LaRocco, Lori Ann (June 2, 2011). "Burger Wars with Johnny Rockets CEO". CNBC.
  6. ^ "latimemachines.com".
  7. ^ a b c Spector, Amy; Martin, Richard (September 25, 2000). "Ronn Teitelbaum, Johnny Rockets founder, dies at 61". Nation's Restaurant News. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010.
  8. ^ ""The Apple Pan hickory burger revisited (with clear eyes)"". Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010.. Chowhound.com. February 18, 2007.
  9. ^ "Rock 'n Fun".
  10. ^ "World Famous Melrose Avenue Landmark Closes It's [sic] Doors". Melrose Action. October 27, 2015. Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  11. ^ Ross, Andrew (February 9, 2007). "Footballs, Funhouses and Fries". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  12. ^ "Trapper's Adirondack Grille to be converted to new Johnny Rockets restaurant". Adirondack Chamber of Commerce. March 4, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  13. ^ "Springfield Area Restaurants & Dining | Six Flags New England".
  14. ^ "RedZone Capital to Acquire Johnny Rockets". Display and Design Ideas. February 13, 2007.
  15. ^ "World's Largest Johnny Rockets Restaurant Opens". RestaurantNews.com. June 13, 2012.
  16. ^ Luna, Nancy (June 18, 2013). "O.C.-based burger chain Johnny Rockets sold". Orange County Register. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  17. ^ "Burger merger: Fatburger owner is buying Johnny Rockets for $25 million". August 13, 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  18. ^ "Our Locations". Johnny Rockets. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  19. ^ "Johnny Rockets set to rock the coast of Karachi". The Express Tribune. June 12, 2013.
  20. ^ "Johnny Rockets Becomes Latest International Brand To Open Doors In Karachi". AdGeekDaily. December 6, 2013. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013.
  21. ^ "Johnny Rockets reaches Pakistan". December 11, 2013.
  22. ^ "Franquicia hamburguesera Johnny Rockets llega a Paraguay - Business Review América Latina". October 19, 2016. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  23. ^ "Johnny Rockets Expands Into Italy, Paraguay, and Canada - QSR Magazine". October 27, 2016.
  24. ^ "Closes Canadian Stores". Vancouver is Awesome. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  25. ^ "Locations". Johnny Rockets Canada. Archived from the original on September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2017.

External links[edit]