Posted by News Express | 26 January 2013 | 7,089 times
An American international restaurant chain where waiters dance for you as you eat your food appears set to be the next big thing in Nigeria. At Johnny Rockets, waiters break out in dance routines when the music – usually golden oldies – plays.
This added value intended to make eating fun has helped popularise and grow Johnny Rockets at a time when its competitors are experiencing recession. There have been occasions when superstars such as Justin Bieber got up and danced with the restaurant’s dancers to the delight of other dinners.
Just over a month after Johnny Rockets opened its first Nigerian branch in the country’s economic hub, Lagos, the fever is beginning to catch on. Yesterday, a telecom executive was so wowed by the spectacle of the restaurant’s dancing waiters that he couldn’t help snapping away and recounting is experience on FB. “Nice one,” quipped Uche Nworah, a communication expert working with the country’s Second National Operator, Glo. “Having fun eating dinner at Johnny Rockets, VI, Lagos and watching the waiters do a dance routine.”
News Express reports that Johnny Rockets’ aggressive international expansion finally extended to Nigeria last December 12 with the opening of its first location in the country on upscale Victoria Island, Lagos. “The new 2,600-square-foot restaurant is the first of five Johnny Rockets franchise partner Christopher Nahman plans to develop in Nigeria over the next seven years. Additional locations are slated for the Lagos area, with Ikeja and Lekki being considered as future sites,” according to a company statement.
“Along with hotel guests and meeting attendees, the restaurant’s flavorful fare and fun dining ambiance will attract local residents and visitors to this exclusive community,” the statement added.
Exuding confidence about the restaurant’s prospects in Nigeria, Nahman, whose family’s company, Nahman Construction Company Ltd., has specialised in high-end residential, commercial and government projects in Nigeria since 1969, said: “Nigerians have long craved American products,” explained “The classic décor will bring them in, and the delicious food, upbeat music, and family-friendly atmosphere will bring them back again and again.”
Traditional menu items at the restaurant include juicy Hamburgers, crispy American Fries served with a ketchup smiley face, classic Sandwiches and hand-spun Shakes. Jollof Rice and Fried Rice have been added to appeal to local palates.
“As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria represents a tremendous opportunity for our iconic, all-American brand,” said Steve Devine, President of Johnny Rockets International. “With Chris’ deep connection to the area and knowledge of what Nigerians are looking for in a dining experience, he’s the ideal franchise partner to maximise the potential for us here in Lagos and throughout the rest of the country.”
Open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Johnny Rockets’ new Victoria Island restaurant is the first of several restaurants planned in Africa, including future restaurants in Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.
•Photo, courtesy Uche Nworah, shows Johnny Rockets’ waiters rocking it in Lagos . . . yesterday evening.
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