With existing restaurants in seventeen countries and expansion into six more by the end of this year, Johnny Rockets’ continued growth outside of the U.S. is significantly impacting the chain’s business. Therefore, the Company’s Board of Directors has announced that Johnny Rockets will officially establish an international division, headed by Steve Devine, the new President of Johnny Rockets International, effective immediately. Previously in the position of Executive Vice President, Franchise Development, Devine will continue to report directly to Johnny Rockets CEO John Fuller.
According to Fuller, “Going from 68 to the targeted 180 restaurants over the next several years, our international partners will require an increasing amount of corporate support and brand leadership. There’s really no one better suited to provide that than Steve. He has worked either in or with every department in our Company and has always demonstrated outstanding brand-building and leadership skills. His drive to achieve the best possible dining experiences for our Guests is reflected in everything he does and we know that he will successfully grow and manage our brand’s reputation around the world.”
There are currently Johnny Rockets franchising agreements in countries throughout North and South America, Asia and the Middle East. Countries to be added this year include Nigeria, Indonesia, Morocco, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Additionally, there are plans for forty restaurants in Russia and for expansion of the brand’s footprint in South Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. Future deals are in the works for Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Costa Rica, among others.
Maintaining his position as head of all development abroad, Devine is now also charged with creating a team to work with Johnny Rockets’ Restaurant Support Center to provide relevant tools to international partners and to ensure that the brand is represented cohesively around the globe.
States Devine, “I have a real passion for – and knowledge of – this brand. So, I’m genuinely honored that I was selected for this position and will continue to create and nurture relationships with quality operators that want to expand the Johnny Rockets brand overseas.”
Prior to joining Johnny Rockets, in 2001, Steve led restaurant operations for Sizzler, Wrapsters and Kenny Rogers Roasters. He currently resides in Corona, CA.