Johnny Rockets is an organization full of new-concept ideas. Its latest is Johnny’s Burger Factory, the company’s first fast-casual concept, which opens Saturday (9/26) in Walden Galleria mall in Buffalo, N.Y.
This is an idea developed with one consumer category in mind. “Every detail about the development of Johnny’s Burger Factory, from the first design to construction, product development and marketing had a new kind of consumer in mind. It’s not possible to ignore millennials and still be competitive in the better burger category,” Johnny Rockets CEO Charles Bruce said in a release announcing the opening.
The elements it hopes will draw millennials are “an industrial look with colors and materials that include reclaimed wood siding and corrugated metal siding on the walls, with a bamboo-faced dining counter with a darker sleek counter top.” There are Edison pendant lights above the counter and a digital menu board. Customizable ordering can be done via a touch-screen kiosk. These details “will all contribute to differentiating Johnny’s Burger Factory from other fast-casual brands,” according to James Walker, its president of global operations.
Fresh-beef burgers are the menu star although they share the space with other proteins, including hand-breaded chicken tenders. The four signature burgers, available single- or double-pattied, are:
⇒ Factory Burger: with thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, Wisconsin Cheddar, spring mix, tomato, onion and a house special sauce on an artisan bun;
⇒ Big Bacon BBQ Burger: with thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, hand-breaded in-house sweet onion rings, Wisconsin Cheddar and house special BBQ sauce on an artisan bun;
⇒ Sriracha Pub Cheese Burger: with spring mix, tomato, dill pickle chips, sriracha pub cheese and mayo topped with two applewood-smoked bacon strips on an artisan bun;
⇒ Spicy Jack Guac Burger: with applewood-smoked bacon and pepper-Jack cheese melted on a grilled beef patty and topped with house-made guacamole, spicy chipotle ranch, tomato and spring mix on a wheat bun.
Those opting for the build-your-own-burger path can choose their cheese and unlimited toppings. A self-serve sauce bar has toppings for burgers and dips for chicken tenders. Beer (craft and national), wine and milkshakes are available. A Coke Freestyle machine lets soft-drink fans go custom wild.
Last year, Johnny Rockets unveiled four prototypes under the Johnny Rockets Route 66 name. These included a drive-in-movie concept, a drive-thru concept (with breakfast menu), a food truck and a mobile pop-up restaurant.
Meanwhile, the original Johnny Rockets restaurants have a new idea of their own: a line of Double-Stack Burgers. The LTO’s varieties are the Teriyaki Pineapple Double-Stack, All-American Bacon Double-Stack and Spicy Southern Double Stack.