Russo’s Brand Celebrates 20 Years of Success

Russo's Brand Celebrates 20 Years of Success

In July of 1992, Chef Anthony Russo introduced his New York style pizza to the state of Texas with the development of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen.Now, 20 years later, Chef Anthony is continuing to position his brand as a pioneer in the industry and has plans for expansion across the United States and internationally.

With 28 restaurants open and operating throughout Texas, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas, the burgeoning brand has celebrated the first half of 2012 by opening restaurants in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Corpus Christi, Texas and Conway, Ark. The company currently has 26 restaurants in various stages of development and plans to open five additional restaurants by the end of the year. The growth initiative is supporting the need for economic growth by creating nearly 900 jobs.

Sparking an interest among international franchise owners, Russo’s has signed a franchise deal to open 26 restaurants throughout the Middle East, including locations in Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar. The first international Russo’s restaurant is slated to open in Dubai in September 2012.

“Two decades of success would have not been possible without the support of such dedicated franchise owners and customers,” said Anthony Russo, who opened his first restaurant at age 17 in Galveston, Texas and his first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in 1992. “As we continue to grow our brand, we look forward to introducing Russo’s throughout new parts of the country in the next several years.”

Also in 2012, the Houston-based restaurant franchise has implemented a new gluten-free menu to compliment its existing authentic Italian favorites. Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen guests can now request a gluten-free crust for any of the 23 pizza varieties available at the restaurants. The gluten-free crust is available for a 12-inch pizza only.

Looking to break into grocery stores nationwide, the company has recently launched a Chef Anthony Russo retail line. The line is highlighted by six varieties of New York style gluten-free pizza (Greek, New York Style, Margherita, Chicken Rustica, Pepperoni and Italian Mozzarella, as well as Mulberry) and a Sicilian 100 percent organic single-press extra virgin olive oil. The new products are slated to appear in grocery stores in late summer 2012.

“We have implemented many positive changes that will help us achieve long term growth goals,” Russo added. “Our restaurants have always been a gathering place for families and friends. With the launch of our retail line, our goal is to provide consumers with a healthy, authentic Italian meal that they can enjoy together in the comfort of their own home.”

Russo’s menu items remain focused on traditional Northern and Southern Italian favorites, with the company’s classic New York style pizzas headlining the offerings. Recipes dating back to Chef Anthony’s grandparents are featured, including fresh pastas such as Gnocchi Bolognese, seafood and chicken dishes such as Past Di Mare and Chicken Picatta, and delectable desserts including handcrafted Zeppole and authentic New York Cheesecakes.

To augment the company’s growth, Russo’s is seeking single and multi-unit franchise owners to open new Russo’s restaurants across the United States, as well as internationally in countries such as Lebanon, Oman, Turkey and Eastern Europe. The average total investment to open a Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen or Russo’s New York Pizzeria franchise is between $495,000 and $950,000 with a franchise fee of $35,000 to $50,000. For veterans interested in opening a Russo’s franchise, the franchise fee is reduced by $10,000.

For more information on Russo’s franchising opportunities, visit

Russo’s operates with a simple promise: “If it isn’t fresh, don’t serve it.” Founded in 1992 by Chef Anthony Russo, Russo’s New York Pizzeria is known as the only place to find authentic New York Pizza and Italian dishes in Texas. Russo launched his Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen concept to complement its New York Pizzeria concept in 2008, with an expanded selection of Italian menu items. Current company operations include 28 restaurants in four states, with plans for significant expansion through franchising in key U.S. markets already underway. For more information and to learn about available franchise opportunities visit