We are meeting with Anthony Russo of the Russo’s NY Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. The Russo family opened "Russo's Italian Restaurant" in 1978 after moving from New York to Texas. Russo's Italian Restaurant was a fine dining establishment that used recipes passed down through generations from the Russo family. Anthony Russo is a first generation Italian. Both parents immigrated from Sicily and Naples, Italy, to New York in 1962. At the early age of 12, Anthony spent a lot of time with his family and other influential Italian chefs in the kitchen learning how to prepare fine Italian meals and New York style pizza. His dad's phrase was: "If you can't make it fresh, don't serve it!". In the early 90's, Anthony opened up his first restaurant in Clear Lake, Texas called "Anthony's Pizzeria". Anthony's goal was to bring the real New York style pizza down to the Texas marketplace. By using his culinary experience, Anthony was able to blend the simplicity of the Pizzeria with the freshness of the Fine Italian Restaurant. It was at this time that the New York Pizzeria concept started to materialize. Anthony's was able to serve high quality food while providing a quick and casual dining experience. In addition, they have taken their award-winning Russo's NY Pizzeria franchise and expanded the concept in every way: the menu, the building, the target markets. What has remained the same? The freshest, premium ingredients; the authentic Italian recipes; the old world charm and hospitality. It's all been repackaged into an upscale, sit-down restaurant - Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen.
In part 2, we discuss the three legged stool of franchising from our Great Quotes in Franchising Podcast.
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