Restaurants

Fatburger owner to buy Johnny Rockets burger chain

Stan Grossfeld | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

Fatburger owner Fat Brands said on Thursday it would buy 1950s diner-style chain Johnny Rockets from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for about $25 million.

The deal comes as fast-food restaurants see a surge in demand for comfort food delivered to their homes, as lockdowns spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic kept many diners away from restaurants.

Johnny Rockets was founded in 1986 with its first location on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles and became famous for its 1950s diner-style decor, burgers and ice cream shakes.

Fat Brands' Chief Executive Officer Andy Wiederhorn said the company expects to modernize Johnny Rocket's menu, which already has a black bean burger, by adding plant-based options and vegan milkshakes.

The deal is expected to be completed in September, and following the acquisition, Fat Brands will have more than 700 franchised and company-owned restaurants.