Pairing of Two Popular American Brands Premieres in Chicago

Johnny Rockets and Halsted Street Deli Unveil New Co-Branded, Fast Casual Dining Concept

LAKE FOREST, Calif. // PRNewswire // -- In a first-ever merging for both brands, Johnny Rockets and Halsted Street Deli announce the opening of two combined restaurants, in downtown Chicago. The restaurants are located at the corner of State and Lake Streets and at 30 N. LaSalle Street. Both locations feature co-branded fast casual dining concepts in two of Chicago's highest visibility and most highly trafficked locations. A special grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for the State Street location on Sept. 23 at 4 p.m., along with raffle giveaways and samplings of Original Hamburgers, Rocket Wings, and Shakes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The two new combined concept restaurants employ 50 new employees and feature a sophisticated, wood-trimmed Halsted Street Deli on one side and the bright, modern decor of Johnny Rockets on the other. Unlike traditional Johnny Rockets, these two new restaurants do not offer table service. Instead, they focus on fast, friendly ordering - with walk-up registers and self-service beverage bars - while providing the same authentic Johnny Rockets hamburgers, shakes and fries for which the brand is famous.

Also, in order to more aptly appeal to local business people and tourists, a few favorites have been revised to become classic Chicago cuisine: Hot Dogs now come Chicago-style, the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich has been replaced with Chicago's favorite Italian Beef Sandwich and meaty Rocket Wings are served with the local favorite Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.

Bill Gomez and Rick Schofield are the owner/operators of the Halsted Street Deli, of which there are now 25 locations. Regular customers of Johnny Rockets, the two entrepreneurs recognized the quality and consistency of the chain's food, wherever they dined, across the country. Their belief that customers appreciate consistency, quality ingredients and customer service was evident in what they experienced at Johnny Rockets, so they conceptualized and proposed the combination of brands.

"These are two great brands that enhance each other by offering two of America's favorite dining options - a deli and a grill. But, more than just variety, we believe the quality of all of our food - which is reasonably priced and never pre-portioned - is what wins customers over and keeps them coming back," said Bill Gomez and Rick Schofield in a joint statement.

"People are really responding to these places because they now have more to choose from," added Joe Conrad Director of Operations for Halsted Street Deli.

According to Chris Carver, vice president of franchise operations at Johnny Rockets, "One reason the partnership works so well is that Johnny Rockets represents a uniquely simple business plan with an extremely flexible footprint. This is evidenced by our current restaurants located in airports, casinos, mall food courts, theme parks, stadiums and onboard ten cruise ships. For urban markets, like Chicago, we believe multi-brand units can work, as long as you integrate localized knowledge and expertise. That's exactly what we have with Bill and Rick. They have proven that we can localize our concept without compromising the Johnny Rockets brand. For this reason, I'm thrilled that they plan to open ten more of these great restaurants in the Chicagoland area."

The LaSalle Street location is open Monday through Friday; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the State Street location is open until 10 p.m., weekdays. Johnny Rockets operates seven other Chicago area restaurants, including one in O'Hare International airport and three in Six Flags Great America.

About Johnny Rockets

Since 1986, Johnny Rockets has offered the food, fun and friendliness that remind guests of timeless, feel-good Americana. Every Johnny Rockets restaurant serves simple, great-tasting food from a menu of all-American favorites, including juicy hamburgers, classic sandwiches and hand-dipped shakes and malts. It's the place to go for fast, friendly service, flavorful food, uplifting music and relaxed, casual fun. Headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif., Johnny Rockets has 292 corporate and franchise-owned restaurants in 32 states, including D.C. and Puerto Rico and 15 countries, including those found in Six Flags amusement parks and aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Johnny Rockets is currently franchising new restaurants in most markets.

SOURCE Johnny Rockets



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