New leadership, new restaurant design and menu innovation stay true to our brand DNA while building for the future
The Tony Roma’s brand is stronger than ever, and there’s never been a better time to invest in a restaurant that does ribs better than anyone in the world. We have tremendous brand equity and ample domestic expansion opportunities. Our iconic brand is resurging, with a new restaurant design, new menu innovations and a new leadership team that is loyal to the core DNA that has made us famous worldwide as we attract the next generation of lifelong Tony Roma’s fans.
Here are some of the more notable recent brand milestones that have contributed to our increasing momentum and that make Tony Roma’s a franchise opportunity worth looking into:
New Chief Marketing Officer appointed Our new CMO Jim Rogers, brings to us a tremendous amount of franchising experience and a strong marketing background. Rogers has more than 20 years of domestic and international strategic marketing experience, having held leadership positions at global brands such as Krispy Kreme, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola.
Tony Roma’s 2.0 design launched The first of the new Tony Roma’s 2.0 restaurant redesigns, which opened its doors in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 2015, has wildly exceeded expectations and taken the local market by storm. The food is outstanding and expertly prepared, customer service is terrific, and operators Gordie and Leena Lem are already looking to expand to other locations in Canada. The restaurant features a welcoming atmosphere that is modern, yet still inviting, and the interior design features many locally sourced materials, such as masonry and timber. Finishing touches pay homage to the natural surroundings, such as the private dining room’s glass doors etched with a design highlighting a local geographic feature called the “Sleeping Giant.”
New President and CEO assumes leadership Our new leader, Stephen K. Judge, has a wealth of restaurant and hospitality industry experience, a tremendous track record at other well-known brands and is highly regarded by his colleagues and the restaurant industry. Stephen is a decision maker who has hand-selected a team of experts in the field to provide the knowledge and support — including the areas of development, marketing, franchise support and operations — for franchisees to succeed in opening new Tony Roma’s restaurants.
New franchise support staff in place Our franchise support team has a history of building recognized brands and are leaders in their respective segments. They have dedication, integrity and loyalty to the leadership and the vision of Tony Roma’s. These leaders are experts in imparting this to franchisees and leveraging support on how to maximize franchisee profitability.
Domestic development kicks off After years of successfully penetrating the international market, our primary focus is now on U.S. and Canadian expansion. This is a thriving market with little competition and tons of available space. There is tremendous brand awareness and overwhelming affinity for our brand, and we have choice locations available throughout the United States and Canada.
New menu items introduced We’ve stayed true to the DNA of our brand and the signature menu items that fans worldwide know and love. Internationally recognized Chef Bob Gallagher has simplified our menu and focused on what makes Tony Roma’s great — our ribs and other iconic offerings such as the Onion Loaf, which we invented long before other brands tried to imitate it (none surpassing for quality or taste). We focus on community building through partnerships such as our craft beer section featuring local breweries.
Bones, Bites and Brews Menu rolled out Ribs and beer go together, and our expanded menu adds local craft beer, as well as an à la carte ribs and small bites menu that allows our fans to customize their dining experience. Whether they want a few of our famous baby back ribs, our new buffalo crispy ribs or pastrami ribs, they can mix it up as they see fit. It’s all about customization.
“Show Us Your Rib Face” campaign wins international award. This creative campaign received prestigious international recognition in Dubai and pays homage to our fun, family atmosphere. The campaign, featuring photographs of customers’ messy hands and faces while enjoying our world-famous ribs, focuses on our core brand DNA. Presented by The Caterer and its parent company, Travel Weekly Group, the campaign received the top marketing award at The Global Restaurant Awards, which recognize the innovation, vision and leadership of businesses that form the backbone of the world’s leading restaurants and restaurant brands.
20/20 vision in place Our new domestic expansion focus and all the key steps we have taken to improve our infrastructure set us up for growth. We have plans to open 250 new locations in the U.S. and Canada as part of a detailed 5- to 10-year strategic plan to strengthen our brand, while reinforcing the core DNA that catapulted us to worldwide recognition.