An innovative new menu featuring more than a dozen new, made-from-scratch dishes such as Chicken Kale Pizza; sales increases surging 10 times the industry average; and franchise growth that is reinforcing the brand as a global phenomenon—these attributes ensure that Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen are well on their way to extreme global stardom.
Russo’s Restaurants, the family of dining concepts, which includes both Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, announced restaurant revenue increases that are nearly 10 percent (9.8 percent) higher than original 2015 projections. This extraordinary performance is accelerating strategic plans for U.S. and international expansion.
Amid an exceptional year, Russo’s plans to open an additional seven restaurants by the end of 2015 throughout lucrative markets such as Austin, Dallas, Houston, and the Middle East. And, to build on this, 2016 stands to be the brands’ most aggressive growth phase yet.
“We have continued to outperform our sales projections each year. For instance, in 2014, Russo’s Restaurants generated sales increases system-wide of more than 20 percent compared to the year prior,” says Anthony Russo, the creative culinary mind, founder, and CEO of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. “Remarkably, this year we’re ahead of our 2014 performance—dramatically outpacing the pizza segment and the overall restaurant industry. The numbers are outstanding, and our model is to thank.”
Highlighting the performance of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, average unit volume at the restaurants surpasses $1 million annually. The most recent Russo’s opening saw weekly sales incomes between $35,000 to $60,000. Almost unheard of in the industry, Russo’s branded restaurants are profitable during their first year of operations.
Chef Russo’s creativity and commitment to expanding his menu to meet growing consumer demands for heart-healthy options and strengthening the depth and breadth of his authentically Italian selections continues to strengthen the brands. He clearly demonstrates and reflects the growing trend among fast casual diners for chef-driven concepts with authentic recipes and chef-inspired culinary cuisine.
Russo’s Restaurants kicked off 2015 with openings at the Spring Market Place in the Houston market and The Rim in San Antonio. International openings have included The Dalma Mall in Abu Dhabi. Plus, there are additional planned openings in Dubai, Katy (Texas) Austin and Brownsville (Texas) later this year. Currently, there are 12 restaurants projected to open in 2016.
“We are advancing our strategic growth plan in 2016 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 and domestic locations,” says Jim Carr, director of franchise development for Russo’s Restaurants. “In addition to growth in U.S. markets, we are in discussions with developers in France, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, and China. The world is becoming infatuated with Russo’s.”
The majority of Russo’s Restaurants locations are in south central Texas. There are additional U.S. multiunit franchise opportunities throughout attractive markets in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida, Hawaii, and internationally. Plus, territories throughout the Great Plains, South, and East Coast are key expansion regions.