December 04, 2014 // Franchising.com // SAN ANTONIO – A local developer and experienced business owner has signed a franchise agreement with Russo's Restaurants to open a Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen in San Antonio. The well-known, Houston-based upscale Italian restaurant brand and its fast casual sister concept Russo's New York Pizzeria bring to life old world charm, handcrafted recipes and warm hospitality. It will be the first Russo's location in San Antonio and is slated to open in the spring of 2015 at The Rim, a premium mixed-use residential and shopping destination. The new restaurant will be situated at 17631 La Cantera Pkwy, off of I-10, just north of the 1604 Loop.
"There is nothing quite like Russo's in San Antonio. We offer original Italian recipes that visitors and local residents will fall in love with," said Chef Anthony Russo, founder and CEO of Russo's Restaurants. "There is no denying the need for quality Italian dining in San Antonio. As the city grows, 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."
The Russo's name has become synonymous with coal-fired New York-style pizza and authentic Italian meals. The upscale restaurant surrounds diners with warm, inviting décor to enjoy crisp coal-fired pizza cooked in a 1000-degree brick oven in just three minutes. Beyond the brand's specialty 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. The full Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen menu is available for viewing at: www.russoscoalfired.com.
"If it's not fresh, we don't serve it," said Russo. "The emphasis on quality food is apparent from our menu creations to our open kitchen concept. We want our guests to know that serving great food is our number one priority."
The majority of Russo's Restaurants locations are in south central Texas. There are additional multi-unit franchise opportunities throughout Texas, in the Greater Houston market, as well as San Antonio, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth.
"We are advancing our strategic growth plan in the beginning of 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 U.S. locations," said Jim Carr, newly appointed director of franchise development for Russo's Restaurants. "In addition to the U.S. markets, we have targeted international territories as well, and are in early discussions with developers in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and China."
Highlighting the performance of Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, and its sister brand, 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 Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen 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 Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen and Russo's New York Pizzeria 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.
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 www.russoscoalfired.com or contact Jim Carr, director of franchise development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Russo's Restaurants
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