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Watch & Learn: At Johnny Rockets cheese reigns supreme

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When you use tens of thousands of cheese slices every week to satisfy your fromage-loving customers, you count on the slices to taste delicious, look appealing, melt perfectly, and hold their shape from first to last mouth-watering bite.

By Jane Auster

At Johnny Rockets, a popular American diner-style franchise in Ontario, the cheeseburger is king of the menu, and the cheese topping reigns supreme.

“Whenever our people ask diners, ‘would like cheese with your burger,’ 90 per cent say yes,” says Arash “Rush” Nikkhessal, Director of Operations at Johnny Rockets. “You could say we are big cheese slice users. Cheddar is number one, followed by Swiss and American.”

For Johnny Rockets, it’s crucial to have the highest quality slices. That’s why the company has turned to Kraft, the “sliced cheese authority,” to meet its needs. Recently, the restaurant tried out Kraft’s new premium Extra Old White Cheddar and Extra Swiss slices.

“We used them side by side with our current natural cheese and we found the premium cheddar slices were gooier, with that gooey cheese taste that people like, and bold flavour quality,” says Nikkhessal.

thumb-johnyrocketsHe notes other advantages too. “There’s a lower melting point compared to the natural cheddar cheese, so by the time you actually put it on the hamburger, it is melted and stays in that nice form. It also has wider and longer coverage. The different cheese slice varieties allow us to use them for our different recipes. Head to head testing shows the premium slices work great against the natural slices in terms of less waste when peeling and the perfect melt and look on our many burger choices.”

The premium slices – Extra Cheddar, Extra Mozzarella, Extra Old White Cheddar and Extra Swiss – feature greater meltability and less separation because of their lower melting point. They offer absolute consistency in performance, appearance and flavour. An added bonus? They also peel more easily thanks to their enhanced packaging in a basic clear film in a right sized 500g pack (24 slices), which means less waste and wasted time.

“They are much more reliable,” says Nikkhessal. “With the natural slices, within each stack of slices there would be a couple that broke in half, adding up to a couple dozen in each box. When you’re operating in rush hour at lunch, you can’t use a slice when it breaks in half. So there is waste, or you end up giving some people more cheese than you should. Overall, a couple dozen in a case would break, and that is significant, because the price is not cheap.”

When Johnny Rockets introduced the slices, the restaurant polled regulars to see how they liked the new Kraft premium slices on their burgers. Their responses were unanimous: they loved the cheesier taste, bolder flavour and wider coverage, with cheese spreading all over their burgers.

“Our boss is our guests,” says Nikkhessal. “They tell us what to do or what not to do.”

As he notes, “The possibilities are endless in terms of the Kraft premium cheeses.”

7 top Kraft premium cheese slice features

  • Kraft new premium cheese slices come in four premium cheese SKUs: Extra Cheddar, Extra Mozzarella, Extra Old White Cheddar, and Extra Swiss.
  • Kraft premium slices are made with more real cheese than the regular slices – at least 50% more real cheese.
  • They come pre-sliced and ready to use.
  • Their smooth texture and uniform colour mean every slice is the same, so there’s no wasted time selecting the perfect slice.
  • The slices come wrapped in a basic clear film in a new right sized 500g pack (24 slices), which means less waste and wasted time.
  • They cost up to 25% less than natural cheese slices.
  • Kraft has been the “Sliced Cheese Authority” since introducing the first commercially available processed cheese slice back in 1950 and has been a leader in foodservice ever since.