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 significantly enhance the brands' footprint in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region.
Demonstrating 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 10-12 restaurants are planned to open this year in Texas markets like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Currently, there are 25 Russo's Restaurants in development.
"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 these promising markets."
Today's news follows an extraordinary year for Russo's Restaurants. In 2013, Russo's signed agreements to open four new restaurants and opened six. The year ahead represents the brand's most aggressive growth phase yet.
"We have carefully selected New England and the Mid-Atlantic for growth," said Russo. "The North East knows good pizza when they taste it, and they're going to love Russo's."
With a significant presence already established in all major Texas cities, as well as key markets in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Hawaii and the Middle East, Russo's franchise development team is looking to Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine for new locations.
"Our franchise opportunities can't be beat - we have exciting opportunities in profitable U.S. 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 full-service Italian restaurant, our flexible incentives are sure to impress. Our pilot program is designed for a franchisee that is looking for the chance to own part of a brand that is built to stand the test of time."
Franchisees have found success in Russo's proven concepts – the New York Pizzeria is family-style casual, and the Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen is a bit more upscale full-service concept.
From traditional Italian appetizers such as bruschetta and fried calamari to coal-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and an authentic Italian dessert selection, diners at the New York Pizzeria run an average of $23 per check. Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen guests spend an average of $42 per check.
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.
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 it 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 before opening his own pizzeria while still a young man.
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.
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