October 30, 2015 // Franchising.com // HOUSTON – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is getting its second bite of one of the world’s most popular Italian restaurant brands, with the grand opening of a new Romano’s Macaroni Grill.
The new restaurant, located on Takhassusi Street in Riyadh, officially opened on Wednesday, Oct. 21. It continues Macaroni Grill’s international expansion, even as the brand accelerates its growth in its U.S. market.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of our second restaurant in the Saudi capital of Riyadh,” said James Deyo, Executive Vice President of Franchising and Development at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. “The new restaurant is absolutely beautiful. We are tremendously proud of the work our franchisee, Tarfeeh, has done in creating their latest masterpiece.”
Tarfeeh (a Sedco Holding company) is the exclusive franchisee of Macaroni Grill in Saudi Arabia. The franchisee has implemented an aggressive expansion strategy that has resulted in remarkable growth over the past few years.
Riyadh’s first Macaroni Grill, on King Abdulaziz Road, opened in December 2014, and has been very popular thanks to its authentic Italian fare, welcoming atmosphere and outstanding service. By year’s end, Tarfeeh plans to open a third Macaroni Grill in the kingdom – the first in the city of Jeddah.
“With the latest opening of Macaroni Grill in Saudi Arabia, we are bringing a whole new experience to the local dining landscape,” said Waleed Bin Mahfouz, Chairman of Tarfeeh. “We intend to expand the brand to all the important regions of the country, which will also create good job opportunities for Saudi youth in this exciting and growing industry. We are very keen on hiring Saudis and providing them opportunities to build a career in the hospitality sector.”
Tarfeeh is confidently expanding Macaroni Grill’s footprint across the Middle East with plans to further expand in the region.
“As the economy and, in particular, the restaurant business continues to grow tremendously in Saudi Arabia, we foresee more expansion opportunities for Macaroni Grill and we will make sure that the brand grows successfully across all major provinces and cities of the kingdom,” said Ahmed Marashde, CEO of Tarfeeh.
Macaroni Grill has grown to nearly 150 company-owned locations in 33 states, plus 24 franchise locations in the U.S. and 10 other countries (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, Taiwan, Japan and Middle East (Egypt, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain). The company generates more than $300 million in U.S. sales and another $40 million through its franchise operations.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill is an Italian restaurant brand founded in 1988 by Phil Romano, one of the industry’s leading innovators. Inspired by the Italian country cuisine served in Romano’s grandmother’s kitchen, Macaroni Grill blends Italian traditions with progressive culinary inspiration from all regions of Italy and the U.S. An extensive wine list and the chain’s unique honor wine system finish out the experience in this polished casual atmosphere.
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Founder & Principal
Romano's Macaroni Grill is an Italian restaurant brand founded in 1988 by Phil Romano, one of the industry's leading innovators.