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Established UAE restaurant developer and operator, Prime Hospitality, has signed a franchise agreement with Russo’s Restaurants to open another Russo’s New York Pizzeria in the United Arab Emirates. The well-known Houston-based Italian restaurant brand and its sister concept, Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, continue to bring to life old world charm, handcrafted recipes and warm hospitality.
This will be Prime Hospitality’s fifth Russo’s location in the UAE. The new restaurant is slated to open at the trunk of Palm Jumeirah in the mixed residential, office, and retail space, the Golden Mile.
“There is nothing quite like Russo’s in the UAE. We offer original Italian recipes that visitors, shoppers, and local residents will fall in love with,” says Chef Anthony Russo, founder and CEO of Russo’s Restaurants. “You simply cannot deny the demand for quality Italian dining at The Golden Mile. With so many tourists coming to the area year-round, 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.”
Russo’s New York Pizzeria has garnered a cult-like following for its authentic Italian dishes made from fresh ingredients and its New York-style pizza.
“Right from the moment customers walk in they know they’ve come somewhere special. They’re getting a true ‘slice’ of New York,” says Henrik Andersen, director of Prime Hospitality, which owns and operates Russo’s New York Pizzeriain the UAE. “Everything is made from fresh ingredients. From the giant slices of pizza and the calzones to the pasta, these are traditional Italian dishes served just the way our guests would expect.”
“Russo’s has become a staple in the area since we opened the first restaurant less than two years ago, our fan base on social media has grown exponentially and our pizzas recently were voted as some of the best in the market,” Andersen adds. “Once you have visited a Russo’s Restaurant, you want to come back again: that’s how we create loyal customers and build long-term success and further growth.
Russo’s has established an ever-growing presence in the UAE with locations open in Al Wahda Mall and Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah Centre in Dubai, and Sahara Centre in Sharjah. The newest location is the fifth of 28 slated to open in the Middle East with locations set to open in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in 2015.
“We are continuing to advance our strategic growth plan in 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 international locations,” says Jim Carr, newly appointed director of franchise development for Russo’s Restaurants. “In addition to the Middle East markets, we are in early discussions with developers in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, and China.”
Highlighting the performance of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and its upscale sister brand Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, 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 were profitable during their first year of operations.