UP to 30 local jobs have been saved following the settling of a dispute between American diner Eddie Rocket’s and its largest franchisee.
Brian Dunne, who owned the franchise for the three Eddie Rocket’s restaurants at Coonagh Cross, the Crescent SC and the Travelodge in Coonagh in Limerick, has agreed to pay the founder of the firm Niall Fortune some €250,000 as settlement for money owed to the firm.
Mr Dunne operated the Eddie Rocket’s outlets here, as well as in Galway, Clare, Waterford and Tipperary.
However, Mr Fortune moved to wind up Mr Dunne’s companies over unpaid franchise fees which were blamed on a fire in their Waterford store earlier this year.
The Limerick restaurants have already been rebranded to Rockin’ Joes in recent weeks, operating broadly the same fare in the fast food diner.
However, following the settlement, no Eddie Rocket’s paraphernalia can be used in the Limerick outlets.
Mr Dunne has agreed that Rockin’ Joes will sell all the outlets’ table jukeboxes to Eddie Rocket’s for €300 each; all seating to be changed from red to blue; while the logo ‘Ain’t no Finer Diner’ is to be removed from all clocks and doors.
The agreement also prohibits Rockin’ Joes from using new table jukeboxes.
Founded in Ireland in 1990 by Niall Fortune, Eddie Rocket’s had been in Limerick for almost 20 years.
Until now, the vast majority of its Irish outlets were owned on a franchise basis.
It is understood that between 20 and 30 chefs and waiting staff work at Rockin’ Joes in Limerick.