Juan Cruz of Johnny Rockets
As a successful Hispanic entrepreneur and franchisee, Juan Cruz sought out a new brand to bring to his home community of El Paso, Texas. Juan and his wife selected Johnny Rockets, based on its global success and ability to reach a variety of consumers. The border city of El Paso is more than 60 percent Hispanic, so it was important to Juan and his team to select brand that provides great value to his potential customers. After his success with the first location, Juan opened his second Johnny Rockets in the local mall.
“I attended college in El Paso and knew that this would be a great market to introduce Johnny Rockets,” says Juan Cruz. “We wanted to bring a brand to the area that offers quality ingredients and caters to both families and the working class, and after our initial discussions with the Johnny Rockets team, we quickly discovered that we shared the same values of quality and service.”
In addition to the brand’s commitment to serving both quality food and experience to all guests, Juan felt that Johnny Rockets’ prototype and menu flexibility, along with the team’s understanding of the Hispanic market, were unmatched. While Johnny Rockets has developed a recipe for success over the course of its 30-year history, the brand remains flexible to ensure that franchisees can excel in their local markets. Juan opened one of the first Johnny Rockets Drive Thru locations, a bold move for both the brand and Juan. However, after going to school and living in El Paso, Juan and Johnny Rockets were confident that he knew the market well, understanding the need for a quality yet fast offering of burgers, shakes and fries. And while it is important that Johnny Rockets stays true to its classic menu staple menu items, Johnny Rockets and Juan worked together to create specific menu items that would resonate with his guests.
“Based on our market, we knew that a chili burger and a habanero sauce would perform well and excite guests,” says Juan. “Johnny Rockets also worked closely with me to create a Spanish-language version of the menu, which is incredibly important in Texas. I truly appreciate that the brand works with me, as the franchisee, and trusts my recommendations for the market to ensure that we all succeed.”
Juan has experienced great success in the El Paso market with Johnny Rockets Drive Thru – so much so that he is planning to open an additional Johnny Rockets Drive Thru in San Diego, which will be the brand’s first restaurant in the west coast city. Juan credits much of his success to Johnny Rockets’ new 2.0 model, which includes an updated restaurant exterior, interior, décor and experience.
Juan finds that an additional benefit of the Johnny Rocket structure is that the brand offers a variety of flexible prototypes. Working with the real estate team, franchisees are able to select the ideal site for their restaurant, whether they are hoping to open a traditional Johnny Rockets, a Johnny Rocket Drive Thru or a Johnny Rockets Express. Johnny Rockets is excited to see what Juan and his company achieve in the coming years, as he represents the next generation of franchisees.
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