Russo’s New York Pizza’s giant pie, franchise headed to Qatar

Five-unit deal brings 71-centimeter pie, franchise stores to Qataris ahead of FIFA World Cup

Russo’s New York Pizza & Italian Kitchen has inked a five-unit franchise deal for Qatar. The Russo’s Qatar franchise deal meets a target incorporated into its strategy for international expansion. Anthony Russo, chief executive and franchisor, is readying the brand’s recipes, including the giant, 71-centimeter pie, to be introduced to the region.

The timing of the development agreement is ideal ahead of the World Cup. The arrival of the FIFA World Cup marks Qatar’s inaugural hosting of the event. In fact, the first store could open as soon as November of this year. Consequently, executives believe the timing of Russo’s Qatar franchise deal and the coinciding, upcoming opening will facilitate global recognition for the brand.

“We’re thrilled to grow our international footprint and showcase our elevated fast casual dining experience in Qatar, an incredibly exciting global market that I have become very fond of,” said Russo. “We are honored to have the support of our new Qatari franchisee. And opening just ahead of the World Cup is the perfect opportunity to grow brand awareness among an influential, global audience.”

The menu at Houston-based Russo’s includes gourmet pastas and calzones. In addition, the pizza chain offers salads, deli sandwiches, soups and desserts. Popular selections will find new fans abroad: homemade lasagna, baked ziti, truffle mushroom pasta, and a selection of gluten free pasta and Halal pizza options.

Russo founded his namesake pizza and Italian kitchen concept in 1992. Since then, expansion has taken hold, and there are now 27 franchisees. Moreover, Russo’s has grown to 50 Russo’s locations in the United States. Furthermore, eight international restaurants have opened in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

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