An open letter to Johnny Rocket:
Dear Mr. Rocket
I want to thank you for providing a terrible dining experience recently. In thinking about how to complain about the experience, I was struck by a reminder of a life lesson: treat people well when they need you so they’ll seek you out when they don’t.
Let me rewind. I went to Six Flags New England this past weekend to ride some roller-coasters with a group of colleagues. At some point we became famished and some in my party suggested we go to Johnny-Rockets for burgers to refuel. I’m sure they must have had enough prior adequate experience with your food to make the suggestion based on your brand name, but the experience was sorely lacking. Over $11 for a single, dried out, taste-less patty and the most bland fries I’ve ever tasted. Soda for over $3, and the free water provided came in tiny paper cones.
I’d expect that kind of quality from an amusement park, but not from a restaurant brand that some people must voluntarily visit in the outside world. I don’t run a restaurant empire, but it seems like these are the circumstances under which I’d pull out all the stops to provide an excellent experience customers will remember when they next encounter your brand in a different situation in which more options are available. That seems like a better long term play than renting out your name to anyone and not caring to ensure that folks have a good experience with your brand. Reasonable people can disagree.
Now, I know to keep driving when I see a Johnny Rockets sign. I guess that’s two life lessons.
Perhaps Six Flags is holding Johnny Rocket junior hostage or something?