Johnny Rockets Flirts With ‘Fame’

Consumers these days are eating at home more, but restaurant chain Johnny Rockets is hoping a tie-in with the movie Fame will get burger sales sizzling again.
The all-American eatery, which has 280 corporate and franchise-owned locations worldwide, tomorrow kicks off a promotional partnership with MGM and Lakeside Entertainment to promote the film’s Sept. 25 release. The movie is a remake of the original, 1980 Oscar-winning movie, which chronicles students at the New York City High School of Performing Arts’ rise to stardom.

The restaurant chain is beginning a PR and advertising blitz tomorrow to promote the “Fame National Talent Search,” which encourages entrants to show off their musical and artistic skills for the chance to win a grand prize. One winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, a meet and greet with Hollywood talent and studio executives and have his/her performance recorded on the Fame DVD.

Johnny Rockets is getting the word out via a print, online and social media campaign. There will also be in-restaurant point-of-purchase displays, check inserts and a “Get the Fame-ous Treatment” sweepstakes offering free prizes. The push comes as restaurant traffic dropped 2.6 percent — its steepest decline since 1981 — for the spring quarter versus the same period last year, per a report by the NPD Group/Crest issued this week. Quick-serve traffic was down 2 percent while casual and mid-scale dining declined 4 and 6 percent, respectively.

Said Tim Gorman, Johnny Rockets’ executive director, marketing, in a statement: “Johnny Rockets is a timeless concept, built on a foundation of classic, all-American food, music and entertainment. We strive to remain relevant in the minds of our guests and believe that associations with successfully reimagined properties like Fame help us position our brand as one that is as ‘cool’ today as it was when we opened our first restaurant in 1986.”