The Drive-In Rises Again

Iconic international restaurant chain, Johnny Rockets, today announced their Route 66 concept, comprised of four innovative prototypes to serve American families at home and on the road.

Established in 1926 as one of America’s original highways, Route 66 became the major path for those who migrated west, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. No company is better suited to resurrect the nostalgic brand than Johnny Rockets, which was founded on Classic Americana and opened its first location down the road from the culminating point of Route 66 in Santa Monica.

“Johnny Rockets launched exactly one year after Route 66 was officially removed from the highway system in 1985,” explains James Walker, chief development officer of Johnny Rockets. “We feel privileged to have the opportunity to re-introduce the Route 66 brand to the new car culture generation through our already cravable food in what we are sure will be a cravable environment.”

The Johnny Rockets Route 66 concept will take the form of four distinct prototypes: drive-thru, drive-in, food truck and pop-up. Through enhanced operational efficiencies and technology, the Route 66 concept allows guests to enjoy Johnny Rockets’ made-to-order burgers and hand-spun shakes while they are on the road or being entertained at the classic American drive-in. Johnny Rockets anticipates some of the first prototypes to debut as early as Q4 2014.

Johnny Rockets Route 66 Offers Drive-Thru
According to The U.S. Travel Association, U.S. residents logged 1.6 billion trips for leisure purposes, with nearly eight in 10 leisure trips taken by car. For many of these travelers, diverse drive-thru options offer more accessibility to guests on the go. With this in mind, a target focus for Johnny Rockets Route 66 is its drive-thru prototype, ideally suited for high volume, regional travel plazas located off major freeways and highways. Not confined by real estate, the drive-thru prototype ranges from 1,800-3,300 sq. feet and offers a best-in-class experience through an optimized menu, digital projectors and technology to enhance the guest experience.

“The drive-thru option will potentially increase our market share and overall sales, improving the economic model of our restaurant franchise,” Walker continues. “Not only will these in-town and travel center locations offer high quality food, including a breakfast menu, but they will also provide the Johnny Rockets experience through digital projections and signage. Guests can enjoy Johnny Rockets’ one-of-a-kind atmosphere from the comfort of their vehicles.”

Johnny Rockets Route 66 Announces Strategic Partnership with USA Drive-Ins LLC.
USA Drive-Ins, a company that collectively has 135 years of experience in the motion picture exhibition, production and distribution industry, is spurring a resurgence in the American drive-in theatre. At one time, there were an estimated 6,000 active drive-in theatres across the country, with the number now dwindled to 350. USA Drive-Ins, however, announces plans to open 200 new drive-in locations including Johnny Rockets Route 66 as the food and beverage option for attending guests. These locations will present family-friendly films and embody a nostalgic, all-American experience.

Food Trucks and Pop-Up Theatre Add-Ons
In addition to Route 66 drive-thru and drive-in locations, Johnny Rockets will also configure food truck and pop-up theatre in conjunction with USA Drive-Ins LLC prototype options to franchise partners interested in increasing their footprint in the communities they serve. For current Johnny Rockets restaurant owners, Route 66 food trucks now provide the capability to increase visibility and sales. The Route 66 food truck can be utilized for catering and community events or added to a market’s existing food truck line up.