Russo's Restaurants Targets Growth In Houston Area

Authentic Italian Fast-Casual Pizzeria and Refined Coal-Fired Kitchen Concepts Further Strategic Expansion Plan

July 29, 2014 // Franchising.com // 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 significantly enhance the brands' footprint in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Demonstrating the excitement around both brands, Russo's opened the company's first location in Conroe, Texas in July. An additional 10-12 restaurants are planned to open this year in key 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.

"Our home market of Houston is so important to us," said Russo. "We can't wait to give our loyal fans even more of what they crave – delicious, New York-style pizza and Italian food in a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere."

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 Houston and the surrounding areas for additional growth. The company currently has more than 15 locations in Houston.

"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.

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 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 walk through the door, irrespective of which Russo's location, receive the bona fide Russo's experience.

To learn about available franchise opportunities call (855) 978-7767 or visit www.nypizzeria.com.

SOURCE Russo's Restaurants

Media Contact:

Amy Lecza
All Points Public Relations
(847) 897-7482
alecza@allpointspr.com

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