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Russo’s New York Pizzeria, a fast-casual Italian restaurant, recently opened in Houston, just south of the Woodlands at Spring Marketplace at 24230 Kuykendahl Road, Suite 200.
Local resident Guillermo Medellin, an experienced Russo’s franchisee who already owns two Russo’s Restaurants in the Woodlands and Conroe, is opening Spring’s newest eatery at the intersection of Kuykendahl and West Rayford in the Kroger Marketplace.
“From the moment customers walk in, they know they’ve come somewhere special. They’re getting a true slice of New York in Spring,” Medellin says. “Everything is made from fresh ingredients. From the giant slices of pizza and calzones to the pasta, these are traditional Italian dishes served just the way our guests have come to expect from Russo’s.”
The Spring New York Pizzeria is the 21st Russo’s Restaurant to open in the Houston area. The expansion signals the continuation of significant franchise growth for the brand throughout the U.S. and beyond. The company is advancing its strategic growth plan in the beginning of 2015, adding 20–30 restaurants in the next three years. In addition to the U.S. markets, Russo’s has already taken off internationally, with multiple locations in the Middle East. Plus, early discussions are underway with developers in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, and China. The 12-month period from early 2014 to today represents the brand’s most aggressive growth phase.
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. Additionally, the brands’ average unit volume surpasses $1 million. The most recent Russo’s opening saw weekly sales revenues between $35,000 and $60,000. Russo’s branded restaurants are profitable during their first year of operations.
For proved restaurant operations teams and driven entrepreneurs interested in pizza franchise opportunities, most commercial loans require a low down payment of 20–30 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.
“Opening our 21st location in the Houston DMA is a momentous occasion for Russo’s Restaurants,” says CEO Anthony Russo, a formally trained chef who opened his first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in 1992. “We couldn’t be happier about carrying on the Russo’s tradition with a new restaurant in Houston and doing so with a team as gifted as Guillermo’s. With their qualifications, Russo’s is continuing to build a bright future in our home Houston market.”