George Michel renewing focus on growth and consumer-centric innovation
Bringing a renewed focus on growth and consumer-centric innovation, Johnny Rockets’ CEO George Michel is eyeing additional expansion, both domestically and internationally, for the 33-year old iconic all-American restaurant chain. The strategy builds on a successful global campaign this year, in which the chain opened 16 international locations outside the U.S., increasing the total to 178 in 26 countries, with four more expected to open by the end of December.
“As we position Johnny Rockets for growth in 2020, my focus is on expanding the brand both domestically and internationally, continuing to build on the exciting momentum we’ve generated this year,” said Michel, who succeeded Mike Nolan in August. “Through new restaurant openings, a redesign initiative and craveable, over-the-top menu additions, we will continue to bring Johnny Rockets hand-crafted burgers, shareable sides and indulgent shakes to patrons around the world.”
Michel will oversee continued expansion of the chain through the rollout of a new delivery program as well as a range of limited time only menu items including a Bourbon BBQ Burger and an Irish Crème Extreme Shake. The company is also investing in a new “Fusion” store design for new locations, including new market openings in Spain and Oman. Additionally, Johnny Rockets is further optimizing its dynamic locations in unique venues such as casinos, cruise ships and theme parks, with these restaurants serving as some of the brand’s highest volume locations with repeat guests.
Michel brings vast restaurant experience in both domestic and international strategy and operations from past senior leadership positions with Burger King, Chili’s, A&W and Boston Market. He also currently serves as CEO of Friendly’s Restaurants, providing a strategic leadership structure suitable for a sector that increasingly operates within a shared services environment.
Earlier this year, Stephen O’Connor joined Johnny Rockets as SVP of international operations.