Texas-based fast casual brand Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen has signed a five-unit franchise deal in Qatar, fulfilling a key geographic goal in the franchisor’s international expansion strategy. In partnership with the new franchisee, Russo’s founder and CEO, Chef Anthony Russo, will introduce Qataris to a trove of original family recipes from Naples and Sicily, utilizing fresh, seasonal ingredients, as well as premium, hand-tossed New York-style pizzas, including a giant, signature pie measuring 71 centimeters.
Authentic Italian dishes range from gourmet pastas to calzones, and the menu also features salads, deli sandwiches, soups and desserts. Standouts include homemade lasagna, baked ziti, truffle mushroom pasta and a selection of gluten free pasta and Halal pizza options.
Set to open as soon as November of 2022 – just in time for the country’s FIFA World Cup hosting debut – the inaugural restaurant will be located at the remarkable Doha Oasis mixed-use district. It will join an array of premier global food and beverage concepts in addition to a world-class hotel, theme park, department store and Vox Cinema, where Russo’s pizza options will also be spotlighted.
“We’re thrilled to grow our international footprint and showcase our elevated fast casual dining experience in Qatar, an incredibly exciting global market that I have become very fond of,” says Russo. “We are honored to have the support of our new Qatari franchisee. And opening just ahead of the World Cup is the perfect opportunity to grow brand awareness among an influential, global audience.”
Russo, the son of first-generation Italian immigrants who initially emigrated to New Jersey before settling in the Houston, Texas area, launched Russo’s in 1992 and has since expanded the brand in partnership with 27 franchisees. There are currently more than 50 locations across the United States, as well as eight restaurants situated throughout Dubai and Saudi Arabia.
He is continuing to seek out global franchise partners – specifically entrepreneurs interested in proven brands that are entirely chef created and chef driven. Several floorplan options provide flexible design and layout choices, spanning from pizza and delivery only to fast casual, full-service dining and full-service with coal oven and elevated interiors.