Johnny Rockets shows its commitment to open up more restaurant locations globally by appointing a new international business management expert to their global expansion team.  Johnny Rockets is an American restaurant chain that brings customers back in time to the Happy Days of the 1950s with Rock N Roll, hamburgers and shakes.

Scott Chorna was appointed as the new Senior Vice President of International Development for Johnny Rockets.  In his previous position, Chorna served as Director of International New Business for FOCUS Brands, a multi-brand fast food franchisor with over 3,800 units globally. Chorna is eyeing the Asia-Pacific region for new restaurant openings.  The company has already opened two locations in Indonesia earlier this year.

Johnny Rockets President and CEO, John Fuller, stated in a recent press release that “Scott’s impressive track record navigating emerging middle-class markets, like ones in Asia and Australia, made him the obvious choice to expand Johnny Rockets’ presence across the globe.”

Like McDonald’s, Johnny Rockets aims to deliver American hamburgers in every corner of the globe. What Johnny Rockets offers more than McDonald’s is an experience of classic Americana. Hard Rock Cafe also strives for something similar with its rock and roll theme. McDonald’s currently serves up food in 116 countries. Hard Rock Cafe is located in 55 countries. Johnny Rockets is in 16 countries at the moment.

Whether it McDonald’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Johnny Rockets, Subway or Baskin-Robbins, a beneficial trickle-down effect on the local economy happens in the places they do business in. They hire locals, and they grow the local supply chains attached to local farmers. Over 7,500 people are employed by Johnny Rockets around the globe. Each year, Johnny Rockets serves 17 million hamburgers, 11.3 million soda pops, 8.3 million shakes and malts, 8 million pounds of fries, 2.1 million orders of onion rings and 815,000 gallons of ice cream.  It’s a win-win proposition for American business and the host country.

In October, two Johnny Rockets restaurants opened in Qatar. The company’s first location outside the U.S. was in Kuwait in December 1995.  The Arabian Peninsula now hosts over 16 locations. This year showed a plethora of more grand openings. Costa Rica welcomed its first Johnny Rockets in September. Earlier in the year, Ecuador and Honduras opened its first Johnny Rockets. The company has also announced plans to open twenty more in India in the near future.

– Maria Caluag

Sources: Digital Journal, Johnny Rockets
Photo: Broadway at the Beach

As living conditions gradually improve for many of the 1 billion people who live in poverty, nowhere is the change so notable as in Africa, where over 300 million people still live in poverty. While the total number of Africans living on less than $1.25 per day has decreased over the past decade, much of this improvement has been in urban areas. 70 percent of Africa’s poor live in rural areas, and most depend on agricultural pursuits for their food and livelihood.

For those middle class Africans who live in cities, however, there are more opportunities than ever before to spend money at global corporations. Huge multi-national businesses such as Wal-Mart, as well as fast food chains and restaurants such as KFC and Domino’s Pizza, have continued to invest in Africa’s growing economy by opening new locations in urban and semi-urban areas.

Nigeria is at the forefront of business growth and development in Africa. With over 160 million inhabitants, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Over 60 percent of those 160 million people, most of them in rural areas, still live below the poverty line. However, about a quarter of the country’s population falls into the middle class, earning between $480 and $645 per month. As the Nigerian middle class grows, its appetite for foreign brands, services, and foods has also grown.

Nigeria’s urban residents pay the equivalent of $22 USD for a double bacon cheeseburger at the restaurant chain Johnny Rockets, which recently opened a diner in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. A milkshake costs $11.25 USD. For the Nigerian middle class, dining at Johnny Rockets is a luxury they can afford only occasionally.

While those who have moved above the poverty line and into the middle class should have freedom in where and how to spend money, it is worthwhile to examine the potential negative impacts of the growth of multi-national corporations. The growth of global businesses contributes to ever-greater wealth inequality, as money becomes concentrated in the hands of the few who own and operate those businesses. Developing countries are better served by investing in and establishing strong local economies that utilize local talent and labor, support locally owned businesses, and keep wealth within the community.

– Kat Henrichs

Sources: Huffington Post, Rural Poverty Portal
Photo: Restaurant News