Russo’s New York Pizzeria, the authentic New York–style pizza fast-casual dining experience complete with handcrafted Italian recipes passed down from generations, announced a multiunit agreement that further advances the company’s strategic growth initiative.
The Houston-based brand, which has a collection of more than 73 restaurants open or under development, has completed the deal with VKL Franchise LLC. The experienced team of entrepreneurs currently runs more than 100 franchise businesses in south Texas including several restaurants.
“The newly formed deal with VKL Franchise LLC represents a significant step in our franchise development strategy,” says Chef Anthony Russo, founder and CEO of Russo’s Restaurants. “Russo’s has the ability to fully immerse itself into the fabric of many of America’s most attractive communities, and we are thrilled to introduce our unique and beloved brand to new markets throughout this attractive region.”
Gabriel Kauachi, Jorge Kauachi, and Javier Lara are the principal operating partners behind the four new Russo’s New York Pizzeria planned for Brownsville, Harlingen, Laredo, and South Padre Island, Texas. The first location in Brownsville is expected to open this fall.
“Russo’s New York Pizzeria is an obvious fit for south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Brownsville, Harlingen, Laredo, and South Padre Island are in for a delicious New York–style pizza surprise,” says Gabriel Kauachi. “The brand is in a prime position for growth and we’re proud to be the group carrying on its rich history and family tradition.”
Russo’s New York Pizzeria has garnered a cult-like following for its truly authentic and delicious Italian dishes made from the freshest ingredients and its New York–style pizza. The restaurant blends the freshness of fine ingredients with the magic created around a homemade Italian meal.
“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, director of franchise development for Russo’s Restaurants. “In addition to the Middle East markets, we are in early discussions with developers in France, 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 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.
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