October 16, 2014 |

Russo’s Restaurants announces expansion plans

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler


HOUSTON – Russo’s Restaurants, the family of dining concepts that includes Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, announced today plans to continue enhancing the brands’ footprint worldwide after successfully opening more than 40 locations in the U.S. The restaurant’s systemwide revenue is also celebrating an 8 percent increase.

Evidencing the excitement around both brands, Russo’s kicked off 2014 with the opening of the company’s first Hawaii location in Ewa Beach. An additional 2-5 restaurants are planned to open during the remainder of the year throughout markets like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Additionally, there are more than 40 locations currently open in the United States, and an additional 28 in development in the United Arab Emirates. Two of those are set to open at the start of 2015.

“We’ve exceeded our growth goals,” said Chef Anthony Russo, a formally trained chef who opened his first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in 1992 and later developed Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. “Russo’s expansion just cannot be contained, and we are pleased to provide our loyal fans with additional Russo’s locations in national and international markets.”

“We have carefully selected our U.S. growth markets and international regions such as the U.A.E., Philippines and China for continued growth,” said Russo. “Russo’s Restaurants can be found in many major cities across the United States, and we are excited to expand our footprint even further.”

Franchisees have found success in Russo’s proven concepts, which boasts over 32 years in the pizzeria business. The New York Pizzeria is family-style casual, and the Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen is a bit more upscale casual. Franchisees who searched for an authentic New York Pizzeria experience have found just that in Russo’s, and have begun expanding into multiple units.

“The experience I have had with Russo’s as a franchisee has been tremendous,” said Guillermo Medellin, who owns three Russo’s Restaurant franchises. “I looked at over 200 different franchises, but Russo’s fit the business model I was looking for. In fact, it’s gone so well that I’m currently in the process of opening my fourth location.”

The average sales volume per unit is $1.1 million. The most recent Russo’s opening saw a weekly sales income between $35,000-$60,000, with food costs accounting for about 22 percent.

“Our franchise opportunities can’t be beat – we have exciting opportunities in lucrative U.S. and international markets for franchise growth,” said Russo. “For those looking to develop three or more units of one of the best pizza concepts or a distinctive Italian restaurant, our flexible incentives are sure to impress.”

Menu innovation is at the heart of Russo’s Restaurants’ successes. Blending generations of Russo family Italian recipes, Chef Anthony’s handpicked ingredients and a commitment to research and development, the brands have continued to stay ahead of culinary trends. A prime example is the development of a full line of gluten-free pizzas – a sincere response to the request for the great-tasting gluten-free pizza from thousands living with Celiac disease. The gluten-free pizza that originated in the restaurant is now available at thousands of grocery stores nationwide.

Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen trace their origins to a tight-knit family where the kitchen was the center of all activity. As a young child, Chef Anthony helped his grandmother roll dough for cannoli, carefully wrapping it around four-inch wooden broomsticks to get the right shape before cooked. By the age of 12, Anthony was learning authentic Italian recipes. Earning the Chef’s distinction as an 18-year-old, Anthony honed his skills as a culinary expert working in his parent’s fine Italian restaurant, and then opened his own pizzeria.

The Russo’s name has become synonymous with authentic Italian meals. Beyond the brand’s specialty New York-style pizzas, menu items include fresh salads (insalata), soups (zuppe) and homemade pastas. Authentic Italian cannoli, fresh seafood, chicken, veal and flatbread sandwiches are just some of the distinctive dishes on the menu.

About Russo’s Restaurants
Presenting a true New York-style pizza tradition, Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen live by a family promise that dates back more than half a century, “If it isn’t fresh, don’t serve it.” This motto has served Russo’s Restaurants well since founder Anthony Russo opened his first pizzeria more than two decades ago. The brand’s success has inspired the launch of a number of successful franchises, and today more than 30 Russo’s restaurants are operating and dozens more are expected to open in the next three to five years. The concept has gained recognition for its remarkably fresh food and the affordable price of menu options. Preparation of pure ingredients and the execution of memorable Italian food keep customers coming back for more. Chef Anthony’s commitment to maintaining the freshest products insures that all customers who through the door, irrespective of which Russo’s location, receive the bona fide Russo’s experience.

For more information about Russo’s Restaurants and franchise opportunities, visit www.nypizzeria.com.