Belfast Telegraph

It's lift-off for US-style burger bar Rocket's Belfast diner

US-style burger bar to open first outlet in city and will hire 40 staff

By John Mulgrew

US-style diner and burger bar Eddie Rocket's is opening up its first Belfast restaurant and creating 40 new jobs, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The Irish-owned chain first set up shop at The Quays shopping centre Newry earlier this year as part of a £1m investment, bringing 25 jobs.

The firm operates 35 outlets across Ireland, with the latest franchised restaurant set to open on the Lisburn Road.

Founder and chief executive Niall Fortune has said the business has ambitious plans to grow further still. Eddie Rocket's serves up US classics, including a range of burgers with titles such as The Atomic and The Onionator.

It also does chicken dishes, salads, hot dogs and milkshakes.

"This is a new franchise diner on the Lisburn Road in Belfast and it is the second Eddie Rocket's Diner in Northern Ireland to be opened this year," Mr Fortune said. "The first one opened at The Quays shopping centre in Newry in January this year. The new restaurant in Belfast could provide up to 40 full-time and part-time jobs.

"The group has plans for further expansion and is always keen to hear from potential franchisees.

"The chain hopes that by 2018, there will be 100 Eddie Rocket's and Rocket's by Eddie Rockets throughout Ireland and Europe."

The business, which has been going for 26 years, was set up by Mr Fortune, aged 32. The chain now shifts two million burgers a year along with 1,000 tonnes of fries.

Most the stores are operated as franchise businesses, which cost anywhere between €500,000 (£365,000) and €1.2m (£880,000) to get off the ground. That price tag includes building and design as well as staff training. The new Lisburn Road spot is currently going through the planning process, but the business has already started advertising for staff.

Eddie Rocket's is the latest diner-style restaurant chain to expand in Northern Ireland.

UK-owned US-style eatery Ed's Easy Diner is opening its second location in Belfast city centre after launching its first restaurant at the new Boucher Square development.

Ed's sells a host of burgers, chilli, hotdogs and fries in 1950s American diner-style surroundings, complete with jukebox.

And earlier this year, it was revealed that a US fast-food chain with Barack Obama's seal of approval was getting ready to set up shop in Northern Ireland. Five Guys is said to be checking out locations in Belfast.

And chicken chain Nando's is also opening its fourth restaurant on the Boucher Road in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph