Johnny Rockets has set a counter fire to win back its fame as a premium burger restaurant franchise in South Korea, alarmed by the dramatic success of its American rival, Shake Shack.
Shinsegae Food, affiliated with South Korea's leading department store franchise Shinsegae, which forged an exclusive license deal with the Johnny Rockets Group in 2011, said it would open 10 new burger outlets by the end of this year.
Johnny Rockets is an American burger restaurant franchise whose themed decor is based on 1950s diner-style restaurants. Shinsegae now operates 20 Johnny Rockets restaurants at its distribution outlets in South Korea.
The group opened a new Johnny Rockets restaurant this week in the Cheongdam-dong street of Seoul's affluent Gangnam district, which epitomizes the wealthy lifestyle of Koreans and is known for an upmarket shopping area, only a block away from a Shake Shack restaurant.
Shake Shack opened its second restaurant in Cheongdam-dong on December 17. The US burger-and-fries chain plans to open its fourth outlet in Seoul's southern satellite town of Bundang following the opening of the third one this week near the center of Seoul.
The first Shake Shack restaurant, which opened in Gangnam in July 2016, reported an outstanding performance, selling more than 3,000 burgers a day. It South Korean partner, SPC, described the Gangnam restaurant as the most successful of all Shake Shack outlets in the world.
South Korea's competitive and saturated fast casual food and hamburger market is split by foreign and domestic brands such as Burger King, McDonald, KFC, and Lotteria. But Shake Shack has become one of the most popular brands. Johnny Rockets was also popular as a premium burger brand.
Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org
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