Johnny Rockets has signed a franchise agreement with Maria Eugenia Handal Canahuati, owner of Desarrollos Gastronomicos Internacionales Corporation, to open eight Johnny Rockets restaurants in Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala over the next five years. The first location in Central America for the iconic all-American chain opened in Panama City in August 2010.
With a strong business acumen and vast experience in the hospitality industry, Handal is well positioned to grow Johnny Rockets’ unique brand of Americana in Central America. A graduate of The General Manager Program at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Handal is Executive VP of her corporation’s hotel company and oversees the Crowne Plaza San Pedro Sula and the Holiday Inn Express San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Her corporation also manages a pharmaceutical company that specializes in manufacturing, a renewable energy company with hydroelectric plants, a clothing store franchise, and several real estate projects.
“The people of Central America travel quite a bit to the US and embrace everything American,” said Handal. “They love Johnny Rockets’ juicy Hamburgers, hand-spun Shakes and crispy American Fries served with a ketchup smiley face, as well as the twirled straws, upbeat music and dancing servers that make every meal an entertaining dining experience. It will be my privilege to introduce more of them to what makes Johnny Rockets so special.”
Johnny Rockets’ family-friendly ambiance dovetails well with Handal’s personal community involvement. She is a board member of Obras Sociales Vicentinas, a Catholic foundation with a school for 650 students, houses for boys and girls, an elderly home and a home for the sick.
“With more than 41 million people in seven countries, Central America continues to represent a tremendous opportunity for Johnny Rockets,” said Steve Devine, President of Johnny Rockets International. “Maria’s passion and impressive background make her the ideal person to bring our flavorful fare, friendly service and fun ambiance to more countries in this rich geographic area.”
For more information about Johnny Rockets and its franchising opportunities, go to www.johnnyrockets.com.