Beyond Signature Ribs: What’s On the Tony Roma’s Menu?
World-famous items like our Onion Loaf, Kickin’ Shrimp, Romarita® and a new craft beer selection highlight our consistently craveable menu
Ribs are what made Tony Roma’s famous in the early 1970s and then catapulted the brand to global recognition. They are the core element of our iconic brand’s DNA, and we are looking forward to capitalizing on our strong brand affinity as we revolutionize Tony Roma’s and make our already craveable menu even more mouthwatering and memorable.
We are known worldwide as THE place for RIBS, and now we’re not just about pork ribs. We’re expanding our menu to feature the first ever pastrami rib and buffalo crispy rib, plus favorites such as beef ribs, short ribs and lamb ribs. Our menu now features our world-famous ribs in multiple flavors and cooking applications. Longtime fans of Tony Roma’s legendary baby back ribs and newer millennial customers crave the innovative spectrum of ribs on our menu.
“We are still being true to our roots, but we are adding different elements. People today are eating differently, eating smaller portions — ‘noshing,’ if you will,” says Senior Vice President of Culinary Bob Gallagher. “We are reimagining our brand while keeping it relevant to Tony Roma’s and featuring a more modern and elegant look. We’ll change core elements to the dining experience, such as updating our plateware, and our menu will be more diverse but smaller — with a focus on innovation with our ribs.”
Preparation and signature sauces make
our ribs world-famous
What makes our world-famous baby back ribs so special? It’s all in the preparation. The sauce and the caramelization of the sauce are what make our ribs famous around the world. There’s also something about the act of sitting down to enjoy a messy plate of ribs that creates a dining experience people remember. Our “Show Us Your Rib Face” advertising campaign, recognized internationally for its punchy and playful theme, capitalized on the fun of putting on a bib and getting messy with a plate of delicious Tony Roma’s ribs.
“The sauce is unique and adheres to the ribs really well. We brush it on and use about a cup of sauce per rib. As they are grilled, the sauce caramelizes onto the ribs, and the flavor of the sauce intensifies as it caramelizes, bringing out different flavor tones,” says Chef Bob Gallagher, who enjoys experimenting with rib cooking techniques, rib types and sauce flavors.
It’s the quality and freshness and consistency of the entire menu, and not just the ribs, at Tony Roma’s that sets us head and shoulders above other upscale casual dining concepts.
“Every item on the Tony Roma’s menu has to be believable and deliver the same quality and the flavor punch that you get with ribs,” Chef Bob says. “People don’t often prepare ribs at home. We are one of the few dining concepts that cooks ribs in-house from start to finish. This ensures the freshest, most flavorful ribs you can get anywhere.”
Some popular franchises use frozen ingredients or microwave heating, but our cooking technique focuses on quality ingredients, fresh preparation, and the flavor of the grill every step of the way.
“The recipes at Tony Roma’s feature fresh ingredients and are made from scratch, and the quality of food is nothing short of outstanding,” says Scott Isaacs, Regional Vice President for Canada Franchise Operations.
Menu gives guests the
customization they crave
Beer and ribs go great together, and our new menu features 20 draft beers, half of which pay homage to local breweries within that particular location’s city. We also know today’s consumers, especially millennials, want to customize their dining experience. Our improved menu allows customers to pick, choose, share and customize their Tony Roma’s ribs experience from start to finish, and includes appetizers such as our world famous Onion Loaf and Kickin’ Shrimp, or desserts such as our popular crispy brownie bite sundae, red velvet cheesecake or seasonal cobbler.
“Guests navigate and create the service experience that they want, whether they choose a more traditional full-course style meal or they want to come in for a casual outing with friends and family and head to the bar and snack. Whether they stay an hour or two hours, they have flat-screen TVs to entertain them. They can eat a little now and a little later and experiment with different craft beers or our signature Romarita®, which we shake right at the table in a glass shaker…no one else does that,” says Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Brad Smith.
“There’s a lot of room for growth. People love barbecue. They also like foods that have some authenticity, and a good set of baby back ribs is hard to get. And if you get them elsewhere, they’re absolutely not the consistent quality that Tony Roma’s is world-famous for,” Brad says.