Cozette Phifer Interview
(Johnny Rockets)

The very first Johnny Rockets opened on Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles on June 6th 1986.
Since then, they’ve opened over 200 restaurants.
And the Awards: City search ranks Johnny Rockets as one of the Top Ten restaurants in markets across the country for “Family Friendly”, “Best Hamburger”, “Best Fries”, “Cheap Eats”, “Comfort Food”, and “Best American Food”.
Cozette Phifer, the Director of Communications for Johnny Rockets, fills us in on Johnny Rockets-----“where the good times roll”.

Q – Cozette, who started Johnny Rockets? Where did that name come from?
A – Johnny Rockets was founded by Ron Teitelbaum. There was no person named Johnny Rockets. However, the name Johnny Rockets was inspired by two all American classics-----the ‘Rocket 66’ car and Johnny Apple Seed.

Q – Why was Melrose Ave. chosen as the first location for Johnny Rockets? Was it because of the close proximity to Hollywood and all its stars? Are you able to name any celebrities who have come through those doors?
A – Melrose was chosen because of its hip and trendy appeal to the public. It was the perfect area for Johnny Rockets to introduce a new restaurant concept that would create a cult following. So many celebrities love our brand that we have lost count. We are particularly popular among famous athletes, band performers and singers and t.v. personalities.

Q – How was it known that the Retro look of the restaurant would go over?
A – The look of classic Americana is always relevant world-wide.

Q – The idea to play classic rock ‘n’ roll music came from where or who?
A – Our featured music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s compliments our brand and our philosophy-----‘Where the good times roll’.

Q – Who designed the menu of what would be served in the Johnny Rockets restaurants?
A – The menu is designed internally with the theme of our brand in mind-----classic all American fare.

Q – What’s this about a Johnny Rockets on a Caribbean Cruise Line? A permanent restaurant exists aboard the ship?
A – Yes. We are currently aboard seven Royal Caribbean Cruise ship lines.

Q – You want a restaurant owner for Johnny Rockets to have at least 2 years of restaurant ownership experience. What’s the reasoning behind that?
A – Johnny Rockets is an experiential brand that is benefited by both business and restaurant management experience.

Q – And then $500,000 to own a Johnny Rockets and $200,000 in liquid capital in order to qualify for development of up to 5 units. Who has that type of money today? That lets out quite a few people who would think about opening a Johnny Rockets don’t you think?
A – Johnny Rockets has numerous candidates who not only qualify, but exceed these requirements to own and operate one of our restaurants.

Q – What type of assistance does Corporate provide a franchise for that type of money?
A – Our franchise support runs the spectrum from site selection to providing artwork for local marketing campaigns. We also have a Franchise Advisory Council and four franchisee members of our Ad Board.

Q – I would assume that an owner would buy everything that is needed to run a restaurant like Johnny Rockets from your main headquarters?
A – Johnny Rockets proudly maintains multiple vendor partnerships with companies who supply our restaurants with the needs to successfully operate.

Q – I can’t even imagine how much work goes into running Johnny Rockets. You’re saying there are people who run multiple restaurants?
A – Our franchisees are very passionate and can’t get enough of the brand! Most of them own multiple Johnny Rockets establishments.

Q – How aggressive is your overseas operation?
A – We are rockin ‘n’ rollin in a very exciting time when the expansion of our brand internationally is on the rise. Johnny Rockets and it’s franchisees currently operate 39 restaurants in 10 other countries including the Bahamas, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Kuwait, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. New locations are scheduled to open soon in Germany, Taiwan, and the Dominican Republic with several more international franchising deals currently in the works.

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