Case Study: Johnny's Italian Steakhouse - Heart Of America Group

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse continues national expansion, serving up a top full-service restaurant franchise opportunity

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is a leading dining destination providing an everyday indulgence to a wide variety of diners. Converging classic steak and Italian cuisine, the brand is positioned between casual and fine dining concepts, creatively blending sophistications of the past with a modern edge.

Each Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse location features a supper club ambiance that is brought to life by entertaining service, stylish décor and its trademarked Blue Bar where hand-crafted cocktails are skillfully prepared.

The popular steakhouse brings to life 40 years of operational expertise highlighting that in order to be an endearing concept, it must first be enduring.

With an expanding franchise network of 13 restaurants and two more coming on line by Q1 2019, the brand continues to experience strategic growth across the United States and has plans to grow to over 20 new locations by 2020.

“We’ve experienced solid growth the past few years and plan to continue this momentum throughout the end of the year and well into 2019,” said Mike Whalen, CEO and Founder of Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. “As the industry continues to thrive, especially in the hotel hospitality space, we aim to identify the culturally aligned franchisees to partner with as we continue to foster their growth and financial success.” 

Johnny’s can be positioned in one of three market models: end caps in lifestyle centers, free standing units and mid-upscale hotel environments. Locations are strategically placed in secondary and tertiary markets.

Devoid of downward compression from pricier fine dining concepts, Johnny’s is able to position itself at the upper tier of the market while offering affordable dining experiences to guests.

Ideal franchisees are professionals with restaurant ownership experience, highly-accomplished operators, and those with full service hotel portfolios.

Additionally, the company is seeking individuals who possess a motivating mindset with a strong interest in investing in an enduring restaurant concept. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse has its eyes set on franchise expansion across the country and is eager to form strategic, long-lasting partnerships.

About Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is a leading dining destination offering an everyday indulgence that provides a high-end experience without the high-end price. Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse creatively blends sophistication of the past with a modern edge.

As a distinctly upscale dining experience with reasonable prices, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse features a traditional supper club ambiance that is brought to life by timeless steak and Italian dishes, entertaining service and its trademarked Blue Bar offering hand-crafted cocktails.

For more information about Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse and our business opportunities, please visit

Name of franchise: Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse
Number of franchised outlets: 13 across North America

Location of units: U.S.A. (Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin)
Investment range: $1,275,000 – $4,000,000
Minimum required capital: $500,000 – $1,000,000
Contact: Visit or call Ajay Singh (VP Brand Development) at (309) 743-3247

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About Heart Of America

Starting with one, 100-seat restaurant in 1978, Heart of America Group has grown to include a portfolio of award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments. Noteworthy brands developed and operated by Heart of America Group include the Machine Shed Restaurant, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille, and The J Bar. We pride ourselves in building long-lasting properties that bring value to the consumer and to the communities in which we build.


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