Deal Inked to Bring the Fifth Russo's New York Pizzeria Franchise to UAE

UAE's Prime Hospitality to Continue Brand's Middle East Franchise Growth

February 23, 2015 // // HOUSTON – Russo's fans in The United Arab Emirates just can't get enough.

A well-established UAE restaurant developer and operator, Prime Hospitality, has signed a franchise agreement with Russo's Restaurants to open another Russo's New York Pizzeria in the United Arab Emirates. The well-known, Houston-based Italian restaurant brand and its sister concept, Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, continue to bring to life old world charm, handcrafted recipes and warm hospitality.

This will be Prime Hospitality's fifth Russo's location in the UAE. The new restaurant is slated to open at the trunk of Palm Jumeirah in the mixed residential, office and retail space, The Golden Mile.

"There is nothing quite like Russo's in the UAE. We offer original Italian recipes that visitors, shoppers and local residents will fall in love with," said Chef Anthony Russo, founder and CEO of Russo's Restaurants. "You simply cannot deny the demand for quality Italian dining at The Golden Mile. With so many tourists coming to the area year-round, the community seeks newer, fresher concepts that are fun for the entire family. We can't wait to give our loyal fans even more of what they crave – delicious, New York-style pizza and handcrafted Italian recipes in a cool and trendy interior that is a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere."

Russo's New York Pizzeria has garnered a cult-like following for its truly authentic and delicious Italian dishes made from the freshest ingredients and its New York-style pizza. The restaurant blends the freshness of fine ingredients with the magic created around a homemade Italian meal. The full menu can be viewed at

"Right from the moment customers walk in they know they've come somewhere special. They're getting a true 'slice' of New York," said Henrik Andersen Director of Prime Hospitality, which owns and operates Russo's New York Pizzeria in the UAE. "Everything is made from fresh ingredients. From the giant slices of pizza and the calzones to the pasta, these are traditional Italian dishes served just the way our guests would expect."

"Russo's has become a staple in the area since we opened the first restaurant less than two years ago, our fan base on social media has grown exponentially and our pizzas recently were voted as some of the best in the market," added Andersen. "Once you have visited a Russo's Restaurant, you want to come back again – that's how we create loyal customers and build long term success and further growth.

Russo's has established an ever-growing presence in the UAE, with locations open in Al Wahda Mall and Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Centre in Dubai and Sahara Centre in Sharjah. The newest location is the fifth of 28 slated to open in the Middle East, with locations set to open in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in 2015.

"We are continuing to advance our strategic growth plan in 2015 with plans to add 20 to 30 restaurants in the next three years. The new phase of franchising will more than double our number of international locations," said Jim Carr, newly appointed director of franchise development for Russo's Restaurants. "In addition to the Middle East markets, we are in early discussions with developers in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and China."

Highlighting the performance of Russo's New York Pizzeria and its upscale sister brand Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, is the nearly 24 percent average net profit, which includes average food costs of less than 21 percent, a figure well below the national average for the fast casual pizza/Italian sector. Plus, the brands' average unit volume surpasses $1 million. The most recent Russo's opening saw weekly sales income between $35,000 to $60,000. Russo's branded restaurants are profitable during their first year of operations.

For proven restaurant operations teams and driven entrepreneurs interested in pizza franchise opportunities, most commercial loans require a low down payment of 20 to 30 percent of the total investment to launch a restaurant. Moreover, Russo's works with a collection of preferred third party financing sources to support its franchisees.

Russo's New York Pizzeria and its traditional Italian recipes trace their origins to a tight-knit family where the kitchen was the center of all activity. As a young child, Anthony helped his grandmother roll dough for cannoli, carefully wrapping it around four-inch wooden broomsticks in order to perfectly shape the traditional Italian pastry. By the age of 12, Anthony was learning authentic Italian recipes. Earning the Chef's distinction at the young age of 18, Anthony honed his skills as a culinary expert working in his parent's fine Italian restaurant and then opened his own pizzeria just a few years later. He then opened Anthony's Pizzeria in Clear Lake, Texas, and later two restaurants in Houston; one named Café Anthony and the other named Russo Café Anthony, an upscale Italian restaurant.

Today, Russo's New York Pizzera and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen have garnered a cult-like following for their truly authentic and delicious Italian dishes made from the freshest ingredients and its New York-style pizza. The restaurants blend premium recipes with the magic created around a homemade Italian meal.

About Russo's Restaurants

Russo's Restaurants is a 36-location national and international franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Russo's Restaurants are composed of a mix of corporate and franchised locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii. Russo's has entered international markets as well, with locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. There are an additional 20-plus units in development both in the United States and internationally. Chef Anthony Russo has created his concepts from years of applying his unique, family recipes featuring New York-style pizza along with a broad variety of handcrafted pasta creations, calzones, salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts, reflecting his commitment to his New York roots where food and family come first. To learn more about Russo's franchise development opportunities, visit or contact Jim Carr, director of franchise development at

SOURCE Russo's Restaurants


Katharine Nichols
All Points Public Relations
(847) 897- 7495


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Russo's New York Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen »

Russo’s Restaurants is a 46 location national and international franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Russo’s Restaurants are composed of a mix of...


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