Are you one of our franchise pizzeria owners or aspiring to become one?
Perhaps you want to make an owner-related New Year’s resolution. It could be the kind that involves doing something even more spectacular with your franchise business in 2023. There are plenty of ways to do so, but here are a few suggestions from your friends at Russo’s New York Pizzeria.
Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen is expanding internationally with deals in Qatar and London; we spoke to the founder, Anthony Russo, at the International Franchise Show in London.(more…)
Russo’s New York Pizzeria is opening its first pizza franchise location in Qatar at the Printemps Doha. It is a move that is thrilling fans literally the world over who have grown to love the Russo’s brand since the opening of the first UAE location in 2013 and also in Saudi Arabia.(more…)
Most national pizza chains don’t serve premium pizza, especially chains that sell their pizzas for $5.99 each. Do you ever wonder if they are really serving fresh beef or 100% chicken as their toppings on their pizzas? You would be surprised what’s listed on the ingredients package to sell cheap pizzas. You are buying cheap product to match that price point. There’s no way around it. This is why we selected Halal meat products. Like Kosher food, Halal food is guided by religious criteria that govern everything from how the animals destined to be eaten are fed and raised, to how they are slaughtered and prepared for consumption.(more…)
As a teenager working in the kitchen at the original Russo’s Pizzeria in Galveston, TX, Randy McCoy knew there was something special about the pizza franchise. He vividly recalls the mouth watering aromas of the authentic, made-from-scratch Italian food that has become synonymous with the Russo’s brand.
“It was a little, 500-square-foot take-out and delivery restaurant,” said Randy. “That was my first job. My brother and I assisted Anthony [Russo] with preparing all the fresh ingredients. I have a lot of good memories of those summers.”
Today, Randy is preparing to begin his journey to bring five Russo’s franchises to Galveston and North Houston markets. Joining Randy is his wife, Ayesha, as they set the stage for building a legacy of family-run businesses.
From Pizza Franchise Ownership to Construction
Growing up, Randy had always worked in the restaurant industry. He managed multiple restaurants in the Galveston area. At 24 years old, he took ownership of a local pizza franchise that was underperforming.
“He devoted his entire life to turning that restaurant around for several years,” explained Ayesha. “He resurrected it and ended up selling it for a profit a few years down the road.”
In 2008, an event occurred that spawned a sudden career change for Randy. Hurricane Ike hit Galveston and caused massive damage to the metropolitan area.
“It dawned on Randy that renovating and contracting was something he could easily fall into because of the fact that he grew up in the area and he had a lot of contacts in the area of various trade organizations,” she added.
He started a contracting business that exploded over the next couple of years. He got involved with the Galveston Historical Society in preserving buildings across the city.
While Randy was successful with his business and was able to take care of his family while Ayesha was completing her training to become a certified anesthesiologist, it ultimately wasn’t his passion.
“He kept coming back to the idea of opening a restaurant — specifically an Italian restaurant,” said Ayesha.
Returning to His Roots, Passion for Foodservice
In 2012, the husband-and-wife duo took an initial step toward returning to foodservice by opening a smoothie franchise in Dickinson, TX. It was their first experience building a restaurant from the ground up, but they thrived nonetheless. The store reached the No. 1 spot in sales in the region within the first year.
As fate would have it, a Russo’s location opened up in the same shopping center as the McCoys’ smoothie franchise. Randy’s future was staring him in the face.
After selling their smoothie business, they began researching different franchise opportunities and kept coming back to Russo’s. One of the biggest differentiators is the brand’s dedication to only using the highest-quality, freshest ingredients.
“I remember hand-shredding blocks of mozzarella and making gallons and gallons of marinara sauce,” said Randy. “When I owned that first pizza franchise, everything was shipped in pre-boxed and frozen.”
Russo’s dishes are made from scratch and use fresh, organic ingredients. The menu features distinctly unique pizzas, including Truffle Mushroom, Prosciutto & Burrata and Prosciutto & Fig. Other menu items include Truffle Tortellini, Caprese Pasta, Chicken Piccata and Pappardelle Carbonara. The restaurant also offers gourmet soups, salads and desserts.
Russo’s family traditions play a role in every aspect of each restaurant, from the authentic family recipes to the warm hospitality to the respect given to each individual who walks through the doors. Handing off these recipes and traditions to the community is what makes Russo’s so unique.
The Perfect Time to Invest in a Pizza Franchise
After Randy’s eldest son and Ayesha’s brothers had graduated from college, they realized it was the ideal time to do something big — with Russo’s at the heart of it.
The McCoys contacted Anthony Russo in 2019 with the initial goal of opening five locations.
“When we went to sign the franchise agreement, Anthony had prepared all of this food,” Randy explained. “When we opened the doors, the aromas hit me, and it all came rushing back.”
Randy and Ayesha will be opening their first restaurant in the North Houston market in the late summer. The couple is looking to open an additional restaurant every nine months to a year after that.
“This is such an exciting milestone for me and my family because I’m fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine while also planting the seeds for my children’s future and many generations to come,” said Randy.
Are you looking to bring an authentic taste of Italy to your community? Get started by downloading our free franchise report here.
TO EAT IN THE PRESENT, WE MUST LEARN FROM THE PAST(A)
Did you know it’s believed that as early as 3000 BC the Chinese made noodle-like foods? But it wasn’t until 400 BC that pasta was found in parts of modern day Italy. Versions of pasta have made it’s home all over the world since then, and we’re here for it!
All month long we’ll be celebrating the history of pasta. From bowties and shells, to traditional spaghetti and fettuccine, we love all shapes and sizes of our noodle friends. How do you noodle? Check out our different types of pasta combos and dishes on the menu that highlight this traditional ingredient. And yes, we have healthy pasta options: gluten-free pasta comes in a couple styles, just ask your store for more information.
So how do you make pasta? It’s pretty simple. You make pasta with 4 ingredients: flour, egg, olive oil, and salt. It’s up to you to choose the quality of ingredients. Follow this recipe on how to make pasta that is similar to the one Anthony Russo uses in all of his restaurants.
This family sized pasta recipe calls for:
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 6 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon salt (sea salt is the best!)
• 1 tablespoon Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil
1. Creating your pasta mixture
Clean a large table surface to mix all of the ingredients. Build your flour into a volcano-like shape. Add your eggs, olive oil, and salt directly into the center and gently mix everything together. Once the initial mixture starts to form, use your hands to incorporate more of the flour from the outer walls. Continue mixing until a giant ball forms.
2. Kneading the dough
Once your ball is formed, knead it for 10 minutes. The dough will start out dry and eventually become consistent and smooth. Incorporate drops of water if it’s still dry after 10 minutes, or dust flour if it’s too sticky. Shape into a ball, wrap it up in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Set aside two baking sheets with flour on them.
4. Rolling dough (Depending on your pasta rolling attachments (mechanical or manual) the following process may vary.)
• Slice the dough into a few pieces. Flatten into an egg-like shape like a disc. Run the dough through your pasta roller at its widest setting a few times.
• On your countertop, fold the dough’s short ends to the center, then fold the dough in half again, making a rectangle shape.
• Run the dough through your pasta roller at its next widest setting a few times. Repeat once on the more narrow settings each one more time.
• Repeat with all sections of the pasta dough.
5. Shape it up!
Depending how you want your pasta to be shaped, you may need to purchase attachments to run your pasta through. The simplest will be cutting strips by hand to make fettuccine, or using the whole sheet like in lasagna!
6. Cooking your pasta
Cook the pasta just like any store bought batch: in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Bon appetito!
Enjoy with toppings and sauces of your choice!
Have more than two people to feed? We’ve got you covered. Grab one of our Family Meal Deals, which serves 4-6, starting at only $49. Family Meal Deals come in different tiers, and you can combo different pastas trays within each. Breakdown below:
• $49 (choose from one below)
-Spaghetti with Meatballs half tray, house salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
-Fettuccine Alfredo half tray, house salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
-Baked Ziti half tray, house salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
• $59 (choose from one below)
-Chicken Manicotti half tray, house salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
-Eggplant Parmesan half tray, house salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
-Chicken Piccata half tray, house salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
• $69 (choose from one below)
-Chicken Parmesan half tray, house OR caesar salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
-Russo’s Lasagna half tray, house OR caesar salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
-Chicken Pesto Pasta half tray, house OR caesar salad half tray, garlic bread half tray.
Whether you’re just starting you franchise search, or you already have a shortlist of possibilities, you probably know that the market for pizza is huge. Like most people, you probably eat pizza at least a few times a month and you have your favorite delivery place on speed dial.
But did you know that all around the world pizza consumption is on the rise? And did you know that Russo’s New York Pizzeria is primed to take the industry into its next iteration? Let us show you how:
Currently, pizza is a $135 Billion industry, and that’s projected to grow even larger over the next five years. Markets with rising levels of disposable income are expected to contribute heavily to that increase, as is a shift in consumer focus.
For a potential pizza franchisee, that means the future of pizza franchising, both in the US and abroad, is looking bright. Russo’s has opportunities available to capitalize on that trend and on the willingness of pizza consumers to seek out quality.
Sometimes you just want something quick and you don’t care about much else. But more often you want something that tastes great, is made with fresh ingredients, and comes from a company that cares about quality. The tide of the pizza industry is turning firmly in favor of discerning customers who know quality when they see it, smell it, taste it, and post it to their newsfeeds.
Customers today, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, care about more than quick and cheap when it comes to their pizza. And they’re putting their money where their mouths are, choosing to frequent establishments that share their values. That’s pretty easy for Russo’s because we’ve held those values from day one.
Russo’s uses only the finest, all-natural ingredients. We make our sauces and dough from scratch in-house and our customers can taste the difference.
Franchising with Russo’s allows you to take part in our 6 – 8 weeks of training in a real, operating restaurant, learning how we source our ingredients and why that freshness matters. You’ll become a part of a system that puts quality over quantity, and that consistently delivers on that ideal.
With the advent of the internet, it’s not enough to just taste great anymore. Our customers want to snap a pic of their pizza and post it for the world to see. And we’re happy to let them.
Every aspect of a new Russo’s New York Pizzeria franchise, from the location to the buildout to sliding that first pie out of the oven, is fully supported by the franchisor, to make sure it’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.
Customers today don’t just pop into the first pizza place they see down the street. They do their research. They read websites and reviews and expect their experience to meet or exceed what they’ve learned.
Russo’s has a long history of providing top-quality pizza, stretching all the way back to Chef Anthony Russo’s upbringing and Italian heritage. Being a Russo’s franchisee lets you capitalize on that history, that family atmosphere, and that tradition of quality that customers walk into every Russo’s expecting.
No one thinks choosing a franchise should be a spur-of-the-moment decision. But, knowing the pizza industry as well as we do, and knowing how well-positioned we are within its changing landscape, we feel pretty safe in saying that the time is right to join the Russo’s family.
It’s easy to sell Russo’s New York Pizzeria products, especially since we only use high-quality ingredients. There’s no better way to showcase them than the high-resolution images we use for advertising purposes. However, our customer-shot social posts are just as appetizing and mouthwatering as our professional images.
But don’t take our word for it, see the proof for yourself below:
We’d say our customers’ work isn’t half bad. But our customers are just a small piece of getting the Russo’s word out to your community.
When it comes to marketing, we’ve got our franchisees covered. Not only do you get the benefit of national advertising reach, but you also get to work with vendors that give Russo’s franchisees preferred pricing for marketing materials, including branded menus, flyers, postcards and more.
During your grand opening, we provide what we like to call a Grand Opening Roadmap. This document details exactly how to promote and market your big day using Russo’s proven marketing and advertising strategies. We also help with local publicity to build buzz around your store.
All franchisees also get access to a library of customizable marketing templates, including door hangers, fliers, email blasts, and other guerilla marketing efforts. If you want to create marketing materials from scratch, our in-house design team can help with that, too.
Plus, we provide franchisees with a user-friendly website, equipped with online ordering and delivery capabilities. We give you website best practices support, as well as guidance on how to manage third-party delivery services to generate brand awareness in your market. We also have several catering partnerships that help get the word out about our franchisee-owned locations.
The Russo’s corporate marketing team closely monitors every store to see how well it’s performing. We believe that one-on-one guidance is the difference that makes or breaks a franchise. That’s why, every month, we analyze your market and go over what works and what doesn’t, together.
Our sophisticated marketing efforts aren’t the only thing that help grow your Russo’s Business.
Our franchise marketing and advertising efforts are solidified with the Russo’s business model’s four revenue streams.
When our customers decide to dine in, they come for the award-winning, made-to-order pizza but stay for the good times that come with it (a fine selection of wine and beer helps, too). Even better, our dine-in option proves to produce higher ticket averages.
When our customers feel like staying in, we’re happy to bring our irresistible food directly to them. All they have to do is use the easy-to-navigate online ordering system we told you about earlier.
Many of our customers prefer to place an order for pick-up. On average, 20 to 40 percent of business comes from takeout orders, making this one of our most popular and profitable revenue streams. Plus, takeout allows our customers get the same great Russo’s taste, minus the tip.
Fast-casual catering has grown 11 percent , year over year. That’s why we offer full-service catering, too. Parties, small and large, can choose from a full menu of Italian specialties or customize buffet-style service.
We take marketing and advertising seriously, but we’re also sure to never leave our franchisees hanging. We provide the support necessary to run your Russo’s business like a boss.
Russo’s New York Pizzeria is an emerging franchise that’s quickly making a name for itself in the pizza industry. We serve authentic Italian food in a New York City atmosphere. That means everything from our authentic pizzas to our unforgettable pastas, and even the sauces we use for every dish are made in-house using 100-year-old family recipes.
Our delicious and authentic food offerings are why Alex and Nivine (photographed above) decided to franchise with Russo’s in 2006, and they haven’t looked back since. Here’s why:
The consensus is unanimous; the franchisees in our system all say they were attracted to our brand because of the food. It’s easy to see why our pizza is award-winning; we carefully make and hand-toss our dough in-house and hand-crush vine-ripened tomatoes for our sauce. Best of all, we use a brick oven to bake our New-York-style pizzas to perfection. We get in the kitchen and cook using generations-old recipes that keep our customers’ mouths watering.
Russo’s truly is a chef-inspired concept. That means our founder, Chef Anthony Russo, travels around the world to source the finest ingredients. For example, we use estate-aged basalmic vinaigrette imported directly from Modena, Italy, and 100 percent Sicilian extra virgin olive oil sourced directly from Sicily, exclusively for Russo’s Restaurants. This is only the beginning of the authenticity simmered into each and every Russo’s recipe.
We have lower food costs than our competitors and high margins to our bottom line. At Russo’s, food costs average to 20.7 percent, while the average net cash flow averages at 18.2 percent.*
How do we do it? Easy. Russo’s offers a diverse menu mix that caters to a variety of tastes. Most pizza franchises only serve pizza; on top of our award-winning pizza, we offer authentic Italian favorites, including pastas, sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. And since we give it all to our customers for an affordable price, they’re more inclined to add to their order —improving ticket averages.
So far, Russo’s has seen nothing but growth in the United States and on an international level. The reason for this is consumer trends in the pizza industry are changing. PMQ Pizza Magazine says the next generation of pizza lovers want higher-quality offerings with fresh, all-natural ingredients. That’s exactly what Russo’s serves – a high-quality experience with authentic food to match. Meanwhile, our competitors are scrambling to keep up with today’s pizza trends. Pizza franchises like Pizza Hut have seen a continuous net decline of stores since 2015.
Russo’s franchisees are not afraid to get into the kitchen and make food the way it should be made—using fresh ingredients and tried and true recipes. That’s why we offer comprehensive pre- to post-opening support, where you’ll get a hands-on four- to six-week training at our Houston headquarters.
Before you open the doors to your first Russo’s location, our Franchise Specialists are physically by your side, helping to ensure you have a perfectly trained staff in place ready for the big day. We also help with grand-opening publicity and your marketing plan. After your grand opening, we provide one-on-one support and guidance on a monthly basis to see what works best in your market.
Russo’s franchisees also benefit from collective buying power. We have strong relationships with premier vendors and suppliers who give us preferred pricing for the high-quality ingredients we use in every dish. It’s thanks to these relationships we’re able to offer such a high-value experience to our customers on a daily basis.
Russo’s Next Generation Pizza & Italian Restaurant model is leading the fast-casual Italian dining category by creating a store (and business) model that is meeting customer demand as well as investor needs.
Our smaller footprint (1,500-1,800 sq. ft.) allows for an intimate, yet upscale dine-in experience focused on customer service. From an investment perspective, a smaller footprint means a lower barrier to entry for entrepreneurs entering the restaurant franchise business with an initial investment less than $500,000 in select markets. (With a $972,891 AUV*!)
In a recent Mintel Reports study, Foodservice Analyst, Diana Kelter, shares these findings: As dining habits shift and the landscape gets more competitive, fast casuals look beyond what worked in the past and focus on what lies ahead, including more premium beverages and automation as well as the showcasing of specialty concepts on a mainstream stage. The report also revealed fast-casual restaurants are “struggling to capture the dinner appeal.”
Russo’s is already catering to these consumer demands.
We serve gourmet-quality pizza and Italian offerings in a NYC-worthy environment using an open-kitchen concept. Our customers come for the unforgettable food but stay for the good times that come with it. Come into one of our locations to see it for yourself.
If you can’t already tell, we’re obsessed with quality. From ingredients to support, we provide our franchisees the best. If you want to keep learning why Russo’s is the only pizza franchise you should consider, click here.