Houston, TX (RestaurantNews.com) With the successful opening this month of its first Italian fast-casual location with counter service and open pasta and pizza-making stations, Russo’s Restaurants is eyeing worldwide franchise growth opportunities.
Internationally acclaimed Chef Anthony Russo, the creative power behind Russo’s New York Pizzeria® and Russo’s Coal-Fired Kitchen®, and the Russo’s Franchise Team will be showcasing this new fast-casual Italian concept in Booth 954 at the International Franchise Expo, June 15 – 17, at the Javits Center in New York.
Headquartered in Houston, Russo’s is comprised of a mixture of 48 corporate and franchised locations including seven in the Middle East and 10 new locations planned in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They are targeting growth in new emerging countries.
The new fast-casual Italian features a chef-driven open kitchen and showcases the fresh-made pizza and pasta. It is available for both single and multi-units in 1,200 to 4,000 plus square feet.
The newest store in Houston opened to standing-room only crowds, said Fernando Cordova, franchise owner. “Customers love the fast-casual concept where they can walk in and immediately order fresh, made-from-scratch Italian. We’re excited the restaurant has been so well received,” he said.
Fernando looked at several brands to franchise before choosing Russo’s for its strong financial performance, unique store design and homemade pizza and pastas from the Russo family recipes.
“I did the research and found Russo’s to be the best in the industry,” Cordova said. “I’m incredibly pleased with the opening results and expect to have a projected $700 a square foot in sales my first year,” he said.
Cordova and his investment partners plan to open multiple locations in Houston in the coming year.
Two additional new concept locations are set to open in Austin later this summer.
Besides the open kitchen and counter service, the concept offers four revenue streams for franchisees – dine-in, takeout, delivery and catering, and the ability to customize the food selections to the unique neighborhood, Russo said.
“Our brand promise is ‘If it isn’t fresh, don’t serve it.’ The culinary journey we create for the customer and proven business model offer great growth potential for our franchisees,” Russo said.
Besides the New York-style pizza and classic homemade pastas, Russo’s offers giant party pizzas, gourmet sauces, unique pizza toppings and house-made mozzarella cheese.
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