Russo’s Restaurants Sets it Eyes on Development in New York and New Jersey

Chef Anthony Russo, founder of Texas-based Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, is returning to his roots and targeting New York and New Jersey for expansion.

With 28 restaurants already open and operating in Texas, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas, company plans call for opening 20-25 restaurants through New York and New Jersey over the next several years.

To educate entrepreneurs about the company’s domestic and international franchise development opportunities, Chef Anthony Russo will be attending the International Franchise Expo from June 15 – June 17, 2012. The company will be represented at Booth No. 315. Furthermore, for attendees to desire a little food break, Chef Anthony will be cooking and sampling the company’s giant 28-inch pizza.

“I am excited to return to where I was born and raised, where I learned how to cook from my grandmother,” Anthony Russo, Founder of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen restaurants. “Our goal at the show is to educate potential investors about the Italian restaurant industry and the franchise development opportunities that are available to them through Russo’s.”

The expansion initiative comes as Russo’s continues to perfect its brand. Since the beginning of the year, the company has launched a new stand-alone restaurant prototype and a new Chef Anthony Russo retail line that includes six varieties of New York style gluten-free pizza (Greek, New York Style, Margherita, Chicken Rustica, Pepperoni and Italian Mozzarella, as well as Mulberry), a Sicilian organic extra virgin olive oil, as well as a Russo’s tomato sauce. The company also recently signed a Middle East franchise development that is slated to open 28 new Russo Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen restaurants throughout Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

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. With a re-vamped menu, Russo’s now offers gluten-free New York style pizza.

To augment the company’s growth, Russo’s is seeking single and multi-unit franchise owners to open new Russo’s restaurants across the East Coast, 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 franchises is between $495,000 – $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.

“As we continue to grow our brand, Russo’s is a great business opportunity for someone seeking to provide guests with an authentic Italian meal experience, a gathering place that families, couples and business people can visit on a daily basis. We look forward to introducing Russo’s throughout new parts of the country in the next several years ,” Russo added.

The expo uniquely showcases hundreds of franchise companies offering a wide range of opportunities at virtually every investment level. Tens of thousands of prospective investors from across the country and overseas have attended the show throughout the last 20 years.

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 the Pizzeria in 2008, with an expanded selection of Italian menu items. Current company operations include 28 restaurants in three 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