Vegan Burger Chain That Replaced Johnny Rockets Is Now Going National
When the legendary flagship location of 1950s-themed burger joint Johnny Rockets shut down, Nomoo took the chance to snag the spot and reinvent the classic California burger eatery into an all-vegan fast food restaurant. Now, Nomoo is opening vegan fast-food restaurants across the country, teaming up with the major franchise development company Fransmart to expand nationwide. Nearly two years after replacing the Johnny Rockets on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, Nomoo aims to redefine America’s fast-food and the future is vegan.
By teaming up with Fransmart, a company that helps restaurants create replicable systems to make franchising easier, Nomoo will be able to accelerate its national growth. Fransmart is responsible for helping fast-food chains such as QDOBA Mexican Grill and Five Guys expand from local one-off locations into large-scale national presences.
“I’ve been searching for a standout plant-based restaurant concept with all the ingredients for franchise success including taste, innovation, personality, strong sales performance, and a large runway for growth,” Fransmart CEO Dan Rowe said in a statement. “Nomoo is the real deal—not just reimagining America’s favorite food with a fully plant-based spin, it has cracked the code of creating innovative comfort foods delicious enough to convert even the biggest meat lover.”
Nomoo Shakes Things Up at Johnny Rockets
Founded in 2020 by George Montagu Brown, Nomoo aims to deliver American consumers authentic fast-food burgers and shakes, fries and other sides, that are all 100 perccent soy-free and non-GMO with none of the animal-based ingredients. Brown arrived in Los Angeles once he felt tired of the internet business he ran in Costa Rica. Instead, the entrepreneur decided to promote plant-based living and advocate against factory farming. Now Nomoo will offer fast-food lovers vegan burgers, plant-based chicken sandwiches, and meatless wings.
“Nomoo was born from the idea that fast-food favorites can be 100 percent plant-based without sacrificing flavor,” Brown said. “Following a wildly successful first year at our flagship location, I’m intent on pioneering the shift toward better-for-you fast-food by growing Nomoo to thousands of locations across the US.”
Nomoo’s plant-based menu managed to attract a loyal customer base over the last two years. The vegan menu features its specialty Nomoo Burger complete with a Beyond Meat patty topped with secret sauces, pickles, vegan American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.
Other signature menu items include The Hot Chick’n prepared with a homemade vegan chicken patty tossed in special sauce and topped with pickles and slaw; and the BBQ “Facon” containing vegan bacon, American cheese, fried onion strings, and barbecue sauce on top of a Beyond Meat patty.
Despite its devoted fanbase and national expansion plans, Nomoo struggled to launch in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown opened Nomoo on February 28, 2020 – 12 days before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and initiated shutdowns. Nomoo stayed closed until the summer.
Vegan Fast Food Takes Over
Noomo's takeover of the original Johnny Rockets location is representative of the entire fast-food market. Now, plant-based meat is appearing on restaurant menus 1,320 percent more than before the pandemic, and this statistic is significantly fueled by the growing vegan fast food market. Current estimates expect the vegan fast-food market to reach $40 billion by 2028, increasing by an unprecedented 11.4 percent growth rate.
Last year, plant-based fast food caught the attention of the American public, and subsequently, many of the country’s major chains started adapting their menus to meet consumer interest. McDonald’s McPlant launched for trials in Texas and California, Panda Express launched two new vegan options, and local fast-food chains announced national expansion plans. California-based Plant Power Fast Food partnered with Scale x 3 Management to begin its nationwide expansion closely after opening its 10th storefront
For the best fast-food options available, check out The Beet’s top 15 fast-food chains with vegan-friendly options.