Russo’s Has Appetite for Expansion

Houston-Based Restaurant Chain Defies Recession-Conservatism, Makes Changes to Expedite Growth

January 13, 2012 // Franchising.com // HOUSTON – Despite a weakened economy that has stalled growth for most businesses, Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen are defying recession-conservatism by implementing plans for further expansion throughout the south and supporting growth with advances in operations and marketing for the brand – sparking encouragement among current and potential franchisees.

“As other restaurants are closing their doors in the current economic state, Russo’s is surging forward and positioning everything to reflect positive growth for the brand,” said Anthony Russo, who opened his first restaurant at 17 in Galveston, Texas and his first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in 1992. “While we cannot change the economic climate, we can implement strategy to ensure continued success for existing restaurants and future franchisees.”

Throughout the last 12 months, the Houston based restaurant franchise has implemented a new menu to compliment its existing authentic Italian favorites, designed a new logo to embrace the brand’s culture and established a new training facility to ensure success among new and existing franchisees.

On the heels of these changes, Russo’s has experienced tremendous growth. In addition to opening two restaurants in 2011, the burgeoning brand signed five separate agreements for 31 locations throughout the United States and the Middle East.

Company plans call for opening an additional 10 franchise locations in 2012.

“With all the positive changes implemented into the brand, now is the perfect time to execute growth procedures, and we are pleased with the expansion that we are seeing both domestically and internationally,” Russo added.

The Russo’s restaurants have been serving Authentic Italian dishes to hearty appetites for almost 20 years with favorites including Gnocchi Bolognese, Chicken Picatta, Pasta Di Mare and handcrafted Italian Cannolis. Anthony has recently revamped the menu, adding dishes with quality ingredients and a fresh take on classic Italian cuisine that include Eggplant Rollatini and Spinach and Artichoke dip.

“Our restaurants become a local gathering place for families and a social hub for friends,” Russo added. “We have put everything in place to welcome new franchisees into the Russo’s family and to teach them everything they need to know to be successful within our system. We look forward to continuous growth into 2012 as we roll up our sleeves and roll out the Russo’s experience across the nation and internationally.”

About Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen

Russo’s operates with a simple promise: “If it isn’t fresh, don’t serve it.” Founded in 1992 by Chef Anthony Russo, Russo’s New York Pizzeria is known as the only place to find authentic New York Pizza and Italian dishes in Texas. Russo launched his Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen concept to complement the Pizzeria in 2008, with an expanded selection of Italian menu items. Current company operations include 28 restaurants in three states, with plans for significant expansion through franchising in key U.S. markets already underway. For more information and to learn about available franchise opportunities visit www.russorestaurants.com.

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