How Much It Costs to Own a Johnny Rockets Franchise

Franchise: Johnny Rockets

Franchising Since: 1987

Headquarters: Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Number of Units: 335

About the Franchise

Johnny Rockets is an international restaurant chain that offers the food, fun and friendliness of classic, timeless, feel-good Americana. Every Johnny Rockets restaurant serves simple, great-tasting food from a menu of all-American favorites, including our juicy hamburgers, crispy American Fries, classic sandwiches and rich, delicious hand-dipped shakes and malts.


With annual sales in excess of $300 million, Johnny Rockets is a time-tested brand with an extraordinarily high awareness level, a loyal customer base and a broad demographic appeal.

The all-American theme is one that has proven to be universal and that leaps across all geographic and cultural boundaries. It easily translates into any language and relates to the best concepts of America, around the globe. Throughout the world, people appreciate the stereotypical home-cooked goodness of classic comfort foods; smiling, outgoing service and a bright, clean, cheerful atmosphere. 

Financial Assistance

JRL does not offer direct or indirect financing. JRL does not guarantee the franchisee’s note, lease or other obligations.

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The Initial Term will be 10 years commencing on the date the franchisee opens the Restaurant for business. If the franchisee is in good standing, he or she can renew for two additional periods of five years each.

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Johnny Rockets (2014). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a Johnny Rockets franchise.

Initial Franchise Fee: $49,000

Architectural Design: $13,500 to $21,000

Leasehold Improvements: $175,000 to $400,000

The cost of construction and leasehold improvements depends upon the size and condition of the premises, the local cost of contract work (including whether the local labor is union or non-union), the location of the Restaurant (including whether the location is in a colder climate or milder climate), and to the extent you are opening a Johnny Rockets Route 66 Restaurant, the requirement to install an automobile drive-thru. 

Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment: $141,000 to $185,000

The estimated cost of furniture, fixtures, and equipment includes counters, tables, chairs, and other similar materials, but the estimate does not include the: (a) Interior Decor Package or signs, (b) a full restaurant information and point-of-sale cash collection system (“POS System”), (c) a music system, and (d) smallwares (cost estimates for (a) through (d) are provided separately). To the extent you will operate a Johnny Rockets Route 66 Restaurant, you will be required to obtain and install the designated equipment and software for the required automobile drive-thru. The equipment necessary for the operation of a Restaurant includes grills, refrigerators, and other similar equipment.

Interior Décor Package: $3,000 to $6,000

The Interior Decor Package includes pictures, wall coverings, and other decorations as specified by the franchisor.

Signs (interior and exterior): $20,000 to $50,000

Includes all interior and exterior signs as specified and approved by the franchisor. No other signs will be allowed.

Information and Technology Systems POS System: $14,000 to $27,000

Includes a full computer and POS System.

Gift Card Program Equipment: $25 to $575

The costs associated with participating in the electronic gift card program will depend on the specifications of your POS System and your Internet connection capabilities. In addition, gift cards are $0.22 per card and gift card carriers are $0.18 per carrier.

Smallwares: $12,000 to $17,000

Includes all flatware, glassware (including Coca-Cola proprietary “bell” glasses), pans, containers, kitchen utensils, and other similar items as specified by the franchisor.

Initial Inventory: $4,000 to $6,000

Your initial inventory may be purchased only from approved and designated products supplier or any supplier approved by the franchisor. Initial inventory consists of various food products, beverages, paper products, smallwares, cleaning supplies, and other supplies utilized in the operation of the Restaurant, as well as other merchandise or products sold by the Restaurant.

Real Estate and Security Deposits: $10,000 to $18,000

These figures include the estimated rent for the first month for a typical Restaurant, which varies in size from 400 to 2,800 square feet.

Insurance and Performance Bonds: $2,000 to $6,000

Music and Video System: $8,000 to $18,000

A full Restaurant sound and video system, including table top and counter top jukeboxes as specified by the franchisor, is required. To the extent you will operate a Johnny Rockets Route 66 Restaurant, you will need exterior video monitors and outside speakers for drive-thru entertainment.

Training: $18,000 to $21,000

The Initial Restaurant Management Training Program for a Restaurant will last approximately four weeks and will include 24 shifts consisting of classroom and on-the-job training and self-study modules and applications.

Pre-Opening Labor: $14,000 to $22,000 

Grand Opening Publicity Support: $5,000 to $10,000

Includes the cost of the advertising, promotion, events, and publicity purchased in support of the Grand Opening of your Restaurant.

Liquor License: $4,000 to $45,000

If your Restaurant sells beer and wine, it is solely your responsibility to obtain and maintain a liquor license. The cost of a liquor license can be significantly higher in a few states where the number of licenses is severely restricted, or available only from an existing holder.

Misc. (legal, accounting, licenses, permits, etc.): $7,000 to $14,000

You must acquire various permits and licenses as required by governmental regulations and keep them in good standing and full force and effect. These may be either isolated or recurring expenditures. Typical of these permits and licenses are those from health departments, fire departments, food establishment regulatory agencies (including a liquor license, if applicable), labor departments, sales tax bureaus, and other similar state or local governmental agencies.

Additional Funds (initial period — 3 months): $40,000 to $60,000

These amounts are the minimum recommended levels to cover operating expenses, including employees’ salaries for three months. However, Johnny Rockets cannot guarantee that this amount will be sufficient.

ESTIMATED TOTAL: $539,500 to $975,000

These figures are estimates in setting up a Johnny Rockets franchise and operating it for three months. It is possible to exceed costs in any of the areas above.