Russo’s Restaurants targets Middle East markets for growth

US Russo’s Restaurants, parent company of Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen with locations in the US, UAE and Saudi Arabia, will expand throughout the Middle East over the next 10 years with an aggressive multi-unit franchise growth strategy.
Russo’s Restaurants, founded by Chef Anthony Russo, focuses on authentic, hand-tossed New York-style pizzas and Italian pastas, soups and salads made with family recipes and ingredients like house-made mozzarella, imported artisanal Sicilian olive oil, cheeses from Italy and hand-crushed pear tomatoes from California.
“Russo’s concepts appeal to franchisees nationally and internationally because of the food quality – our recipes, our sourcing, our authenticity – that speaks to the way people the world over want to eat today,” said Russo. “We are growing because the appetite for our style of food is growing, and we’ve been doing it for 25 years with proven success.”
The company, with more than 50 new restaurants in development globally, recently opened its first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Riyadh with franchisee Abdulrahman Al Arifi, who has an agreement to open three more locations and says he’ll build up to 60 in the next 10 years.
“We want to make Russo’s the first choice of pizza throughout the region,” said Arifi. “We want every pizza lover and non-lover to come in to our restaurants and taste the magic of our pizza and fresh ingredients that are unlike anything we have in Saudi Arabia.”
In addition to planned openings in Saudi Arabia, Russo’s is targeting new international markets such as Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt for franchise development.
Russo’s UAE franchise partner, Prime Hospitality, will also open the region’s first Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen concept at The Pointe in Dubai in Q3, which boasts a new prototype designed exclusively for Middle East development. This will be the seventh Russo’s location in the UAE, with plans for many more.