ALISO VIEJA, Calif. – It’s no secret that the American mall is in a state of decline; shoppers no longer frequent the indoor shopping behemoths as they did in years past. So what is a restaurant chain to do, when the majority of its locations are based in shopping malls? Well, in the case of Johnny Rockets, the answer is … drive.
The 1950s nostalgia burger chain has announced a partnership with the Indiana-based USA Drive-Ins chain of drive-in movie theaters to open Johnny Rockets locations in many of the 200 planned USA Drive-In locations. Johnny Rockets is also planning to begin opening, for the first time, locations with drive-thru service and is also franchising food trucks. These initiatives are all part of the company’s “Route 66” initiative to launch a car-oriented side of its business.
According to an article in Business Week, Johnny Rockets Chief Development Officer James Walker is particularly focused on the drive-thru part of the plan because it will allow the chain to open in places that don’t rely on foot traffic. The company told Business Week that it expects average sales at drive-thru restaurants to exceed those of existing restaurants, which on average take in just over $1 million annually.