Why Some Johnny Rockets Restaurants Got Rid Of The Retro Look

Johnny Rockets is known for slinging burgers and heating up fries in a '50s-style restaurant that makes mouths water and presents milkshakes that bring all the boys, and girls, to the yard. For years, their decor reflected the 1950s motif with a diner look that Chain Storage describes as involving "jukeboxes filled with oldies songs and dancing servers dressed in nostalgic soda-jerk uniforms." But in past years, it has gone through a variety of refreshes. 

In 2016, the Destiny U.S.A. mall in Syracuse, N.Y. was the first to introduce a sleek and modern design involving updates to the veneer throughout the restaurant, new lighting, new counters, and open kitchens, plus a replacement of old art with graphics that highlight the freshness of its foods. They also updated the seating with more "flexible and communal options" so that, as James Walker, president of operations and development, says, "everything is not fixed in place" and different-sized groups can be accommodated with easily moved chairs and tables.

But why the general change?

Some of these spots are not like the other

Not all Johnny Rockets have received the update just yet, but depending on where you go, you may not be greeted by the 1950s diner vibes you were expecting. In order to attract millennials and other customers born after that time period, they wanted a design that was more "hip". In a conversation with the OC Register, Chief Executive Charles Bruce said, "We were showing our age. We were looking a little old; a little tired." 

In order to change with the times, they not only adapted the decor, but employees were "given a makeover with their soda shop paper hats traded for white oxford shirts and dark denim jeans." And though some restaurants were adjusted, the restaurant got a new boss shortly after the changes began implementation, so some never got the call to start shifting and remain old-school.

It's good to know that some Johnny Rockets will stay the way we remember them, preserved in '50s nostalgia and fun!