ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – Thirty Johnny Rockets restaurants will soon open in Brazil thanks to a franchise agreement made between the company and restaurant entrepreneur Antonio Augusto Ribeiro de Souza.

"It is our goal to open restaurants in active, thriving communities throughout South America,” said Steve Devine, president of Johnny Rockets International Division. “We believe there are many centers and venues that are conducive to the fun and excitement Johnny Rockets brings. In fact, all of the ingredients for a successful partnership are already present in Brazil. We have the fifth most-populated country, plus an insatiable taste for American hamburgers – and it's all seasoned with a franchisee that has really solid industry experience."

Augusto, who has more than 20 years in the foodservice industry experience, is a former McDonald’s franchisee who has created and operated numerous operations and concepts in Brazil, and currently operates Well's restaurants in Sáo Paulo. He plans to open his first Johnny Rockets restaurant in Sáo Paulo in late 2012 or early 2013, with more locations to soon follow.

Johnny Rockets calls itself an international, all-American restaurant chain that offers signature menu items, dancing servers, an open kitchen and music hits from the past 80 years. It operates in 16 countries around the world. Its menu includes hamburgers, among other tradition American items. Brazil restaurants will offer a Picanha Hamburger, new salad options and special dessert items to reflect the country's rich culture and culinary preferences.

"With more than 205 million residents – nearly 20 million in Sáo Paulo alone – Brazil represents a tremendous audience for Johnny Rockets," Devine said. "As the world's seventh-largest economy in terms of GDP, Brazil boasts a robust economy, high consumer confidence and a palate primed for great-tasting American food. The timing couldn't be better for us to enter this growth market with our unique all-American dining experience."