Would You Buy A Johnny Rockets CD Or Toaster?

Would you go see a drive-in movie where carhops bring you food from chain diner Johnny Rockets? That’s in the works, as the brand plans to extend itself beyond its 330 existing restaurants. How about a fast-casual “express” model serving the same food more quickly and without waiters? How about Johnny Rockets branded small appliances and frozen food? This is all coming soon, starting in 2015.

Yes, the chain is joining other chain restaurants in cashing in on its brand recognition even when consumers are at home, shopping for appliances, or want to go see a movie. Well, the movie and appliances things are kind of unusual: what’s with that?

The company’s chief development officer, James Walker, told BurgerBusiness that the idea behind going into home electronics is to recreate the experience of the shiny, idealized 1950s experience from the restaurant’s tables and counters in customers’ homes. They’re not just going to grab any old chrome milkshake blenders and straw holders and slap a Johnny Rockets logo on it, though.

Another idea, inspired by Starbucks, is to create and market CDs of old and new music that might be playing over the sound system in a Johnny Rockets restaurant. “[W]e’re a lifestyle: We’re fun, we’re entertainment, we’re music,” Walker explained. Burger grills? Maybe! Toasters? Sure! Anything that fits in the company’s “retro-tech” aesthetic could end up on store shelves sometime in 2015. We’ll have to find out whether these products will be worth anyone’s money or time.

Johnny Rockets Eyes Retail as ‘Lifestyle Brand’ [BurgerBusiness]