Three Reasons the ‘Emerald City’ Is Primed for TR Fire Grill

Experienced entrepreneurs will want a piece of this hip new brand

It’s hot and new and the latest concept in restaurant franchising, and it’s sure to appeal to the Seattle market faster than you can say, “I like my coffee beans roasted.”

TR Fire Grill is a franchise concept that matches all the attractive qualities of a hip and authentic local bistro with the support of a seasoned franchise leadership team. This means partnerships with local farmers and intriguing menu items that appeal to the millennial in everyone.

Customers are already raving about the chicken and waffles, salmon and zoodles, and our other shareable sides, not to mention the hand-crafted cocktails and local microbrewery offerings, says CEO and President Stephen K. Judge.

TR Fire Grill

“TR Fire Grill appeals to the next generation of consumer — people who seek quality and uniqueness,” Stephen says. “We’ve created a highly popular and successful concept, and now we’re beginning to open new franchised locations so we can expose more diners to our menu.”

Here are three other reasons now is the time to join the TR Fire Grill revolution in restaurants.

Seattle: It’s where all the cool people are moving

While the beauty of Washington State’s coast is enough, innovation and information technology are at the heart of Seattle’s growing economy. On average, about 236 people move to the Seattle area every day, according to a recent report by the Puget Sound Regional Council.

But it’s not just about how many people are moving to the area. It is more about who is moving to the area that we think spells success for TR Fire Grill. says as of 2014 the median age for Seattle and surrounding areas is 36. What this means is your customer base sits squarely under the millennial category.

Who are the millennials and why should we care? This growing group of individuals with money to spend that came of age in 2000 is not only tech-savvy, but they also have an appreciation for a dining experience that is somewhat different than their parents. Restaurant analysts say they care more about the quality of their food rather than the service.

tr fire grill millenial diners

That’s why TR Fire Grill offers a dining experience that might appeal to a younger, more adventurous crowd. Think “Yappy Hour,” a happy hour where customers can bring their dogs, and menu items like Wonuts, TR’s popular hybrid of waffles and doughnuts.

“We attract a broad range of customers who have become regulars. Our customer demographic skews toward female customers who love our weekend brunch and also toward millennials who appreciate the fresh, locally sourced ingredients we use in the kitchen and behind the bar,” Stephen says.

There is expertise behind the brand

Little do our TR Fire Grill customers know, but there are 40 years of restaurant know-how behind the name.

TR stands for Tony Roma, the well-known restaurants of meteoric rise in the 1980s and 1990s that still reigns supreme with our signature baby back ribs at more than 500 locations in the U.S. and beyond. With this kind of history and the combined near 100 years of experience behind the leadership team, the TR Fire Grill concept is, well, a slam dunk.

We have done our homework and we have a deep desire to stay on trend. We want to give the American consumer what they want, Stephen says. TR Fire Grill has huge potential and it shows it in the right markets.

It works as an urban concept, but it also works well in a suburban setting. We are ahead of the competition by having the feel of a locally owned restaurant from a guest perspective that behind the scenes has all the expertise of a global company.

“Do not underestimate the brand legacy of Tony Roma’s. We have a reputation for being one of the best bets in the upscale casual dining, full-service restaurant category, thanks to 40-plus years of customer and emotional connections,” Stephen adds. “We know that our brand conjures up amazing positive memories for people.”

It’s not your daddy’s meat and three

At the end of the day, it is all about the food, and it’s because of our attention to what we serve our customers that TR Fire Grill is already becoming a part of their regular dining experience.

Our Winter Park, Florida, location gets rave reviews from foodies for its Sunday brunch and hip decor. TR Fire Grill is also garnering industry attention, such as the Ovations Award for Best New Restaurant in Winter Park/Maitland and back-to-back accolades as Open Table’s Diners’ Choice Award in 2015 and 2016.

tr fire grill winter park florida

We continue to receive awards and recognition because we take special care to partner with local farms and use fresh ingredients, even our steaks are 100% all-natural beef, raised open range and fed a 100% vegetarian diet with no antibiotics or added hormones, says Chief Marketing Officer Jim Rogers.

We’ve discovered that the typical TR Fire Grill customer demands organic and locally sourced foods and the industry backs this up. The National Restaurant Association says the “local concept” is one of the hottest food trends in America; and the food research and consulting firm Technomic reports that more than 60 percent of consumers surveyed said they are more likely to purchase locally sourced food and beverages.

But we knew that. Our customers can taste the difference in everything from our in-house made condiments to our Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

“TR Fire Grill’s seasonally inspired menu is built on a philosophy of transparency surrounding everything we serve,” Jim says. “From our fresh ingredients to the depth of knowledge our team members provide to customers, the dining experience TR Fire Grill is one they remember and come back for time and again.”

Learn more here about owning a Tony Roma’s restaurant

The total investment for launching a Tony Roma’s restaurant is in the $1.9 million to $3 million range, depending on the location, size and type of restaurant. A typical location is in the neighborhood of 6,000 square feet.

Who are we looking for? Sophisticated operators with:

  • Minimum $3 million net worth (not including residences, automobiles and other personal assets)
  • Of that net worth, $1 million should be liquid (i.e., cash or easily convertible assets)
  • Equity group buying affiliation
  • Previous restaurant and/or hospitality experience
  • A passion for people, hospitality, food, and the Tony Roma’s brand
  • Personnel and financial management knowledge, as well as marketing and business development expertise

Would you like to learn more about investing in an iconic American upscale casual dining concept with untapped domestic growth opportunities? Our new leadership has unveiled an exciting brand refresh, and we have a proven track record of unprecedented brand affinity with passionate fans worldwide. We are looking for business owners, particularly multi-unit operators, who love food and people. Our new leadership is focused on aggressive U.S. and Canadian expansion over the next five to 10 years. Click here to read through our research pages or request more information about opening a Tony Roma’s franchise.