Beefing up the burger

Published: November 10, 2014
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By 2015 Johnny Rockets plan to open five more outlets within the country. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/ EXPRESS

By 2015 Johnny Rockets plan to open five more outlets within the country. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/ EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

After rocking foodies all around the world, Johnny Rockets opened its first diner franchise in 2013 in Karachi. One year down the lane, the outlet has managed to develop a cult following, with a prime location like the Dolmen Mall at Sea View coming in handy. On Saturday, Shahryar Rashid the marketing manager of Johnny Rockets-Pakistan organised a press meet where he resolved some confusions about the casual dining outlet and its future plans. 

“We believe in promoting the concept of casual dining that is something we have been doing since our launch. We do not believe in quick service of pre-done burger meat; of serving it in maximum seven to 10 minutes to our customers. Rather, we believe in, making everything from the scratch” Rashid said at the press meet.

By 2015 Johnny Rockets plan to open five more outlets within the country. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/ EXPRESS

Since the eatery is best known for its meaty burgers, there has always been a debate about whether popular franchises like these use kosher meat in their burgers or not.  “We are importing about 50 per cent of the meat from the United States. This is from a company that supplies halal stuff. The rest of the 50 per cent of the meat is local.” On why 50 per cent is only imported from the US and not the rest, Rashid explains, “That’s expensive. We need to see the cost.”

With four branches located in Pakistan — two in Karachi and one each in Islamabad and Lahore — the owners do plan on targeting other areas across Pakistan. “In Karachi, we are currently assessing the locations of North Nazimabad and Gulshan. By 2015, we should have five more outlets within the country,” said Rashid.

High pricing at Johnny Rockets has been a concern for many foodies, but contrary to the billboards around the city, the prices have remained the same and just new deals are being advertised by the company. “The prices are the same. There are certain deals which we are offering that are common. This keeps on changing all the time,” said marketing executive Johnny Rockets-Pakistan, Dinesh Kumar.

Rashid added to that, saying that Rs 650 for a medium meal at Johnny Rockets is a very competitive charge and they also need to tax it. “So we really can’t help you in there,” said Rashid.

With Paul Young’s Every time You Go Away playing in the back ground, the interaction with journalists came to end on the possibility of Johnny Rockets opening in the neighbouring country India. “No,” said Rashid, “We can’t serve beef there. Can we?”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Parvez
    Nov 11, 2014 - 12:33AM

    The music was better than the burgers.

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  • BRUISED INDIAN
    Nov 11, 2014 - 12:42AM

    Haha! Ummm we do HAVE Johnny Rockets in India.. It serves buffalo meat burgers. We have Chillis Too and they serve buffalo burgers… We have Hard Rock Cafè selling prime steaks and burgers – all buffalo. All hotels serve buffalo steaks and burgers.

    Rumor has it that hotels in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region) serve USDA certified Angus and Wyoming Cattle Prime BEEF to top clients upon request.

    Though am extremely irritated to have international brands chumming up to Indian pallets with a Vegetarian Menu. Ever heard of a KFC having 50% of its menu being vegan?? Sucks doesn’t it!!

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  • King
    Nov 11, 2014 - 8:52AM

    Why is Johnny Rockets expanding?

    I’m not some random hater but come on! Johnny Rockets is more expensive than ALL the other burger joints in Karachi. The burgers are drinks are sometimes twice as expensive as they are in other international fast food joints.

    The flavour is also lacklustre in most cases and the taste and quality you get do not justify the money you spend at Johnny Rockets.

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  • Wow
    Nov 11, 2014 - 12:29PM

    I give JR 6 months to wrap up operations — I hope they prove me wrong, but they really need to sort out their quality to justify their pricing

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  • Abee
    Nov 11, 2014 - 1:20PM

    It is highly rated for no reason according to the article. Is always empty and food is way overpriced for value and chain name. An excellent attempt to tempt people to try it and regret:)

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  • Sidra
    Nov 12, 2014 - 5:37PM

    I am a big fan of johnny rockets, Well Johnny Rockets and fat burgers are the only two places where i actually get the feeling of being FuLL after having a single burger…n yup its amazing.. (The original) my all time favorite.YUMM YUMMM

    N yup its a shame when the prices of johnny rockets in compared with kfc or mcdonalds or burger king…..ammm whts wrong with people… Tch.. Johnny Rockets is a premium brand its a not fast food self service chain … its a proper dine-in place :) i think they deserve to charge abt extra for giving in so much extra.

    Craving for a peanut butter shake.. :(

    Johnny Rockets ..You rock and roll … :).. looking

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