Three Reasons to Invest in a Tony Roma’s Ribs Franchise
Iconic global ribs and steak favorite with tremendous brand equity introduces contemporary design and revamped menu
Investing in a Tony Roma’s means investing in a world-class restaurant franchise with global brand affinity that spans generations. We just unveiled our prototype restaurant in Orlando at our International Drive location and the modern, open restaurant design and transformed menu are getting positive reviews from both longtime fans and newcomers to our iconic brand.
Tony Roma’s has always been THE place for RIBS. Our fans have been rolling up their sleeves and enjoying our mouthwatering, craveable ribs for nearly 45 years. Today our iconic brand is stronger than ever, with a new restaurant design and a popular new menu. We’ve stayed loyal to the core DNA that has made us famous worldwide, and we’re attracting the next generation of loyal Tony Roma’s customers as we work toward the goal of 250 new locations over the next decade. We offer a lower initial investment than many upscale casual dining, full-service restaurants.
After years of focusing on international expansion, we have set aggressive domestic expansion goals to once again make our restaurants a destination of choice for consumers in the U.S. and Canada. We are poised to open 250 new locations over the next decade.
“The opportunity to invest in Tony Roma’s is phenomenal with plenty of untapped territories. We have a lot of opportunity in terms of geographical span in both Canada and the United States,” says Jonathan Benjamin, Vice President of Development for U.S. and Canada.
If you are an experienced operator seeking to invest in a dining concept backed by a leadership team with extensive experience in building strong restaurant brands, here are three reasons to bring Tony Roma’s to your community.
Strong global brand affinity
Ask for a Tony Roma’s story at any social gathering, and you’ll be flooded with fond memories of celebratory moments shared with family and friends. Tony Roma’s invokes a strong emotional bond like no other restaurant brand. Guests drive out of their way to visit our restaurants, seek out the nearest Tony Roma’s while traveling for business or pleasure and many visit several nights in a row — enjoying the nostalgia along with our world-famous ribs and legendary sides, from our Onion Loaf to our Kickin’ Shrimp.
There are few brands on the market with such strong loyalty and appeal to a broad spectrum of customers, from families to millennials. Whether they are choosing Tony Roma’s for a dinner out with work colleagues or to celebrate a family birthday, we encourage our guests to roll up their sleeves, put on a bib and get messy while they enjoy our mouthwatering ribs.
“Our legacy brand conjures up amazing positive memories for people,” says CEO Stephen K. Judge. “Do not underestimate the brand affinity of Tony Roma’s.”
New restaurant design is faster to build and less expensive
Our new I-Drive restaurant prototype ushers us into a new era with its warm, inviting and open flexible design that makes it the perfect destination for tourists to the area, as well as friends, family and business colleagues. The new Orlando location features three state-of-the-art private dining rooms equipped with a full range of audio-visual equipment, which are perfect for business events and meetings, family celebrations and social gatherings.
Not only is the open floor plan more aesthetically pleasing, modern and elegant, but it is also a better buy for investors. The new restaurant layout is a smaller footprint, featuring a smaller kitchen, dining area and bar, which translates into a lower initial investment. Newer restaurant designs also feature a private dining room to accommodate business functions and social gatherings for an added revenue stream. The expanded and welcoming bar is a draw for business travelers and groups who frequent happy hour.
We have also made changes to our preferred building model, transitioning from a freestanding location to an in-line, end cap or mall location, which is advantageous for franchisees on numerous counts. This model is more flexible to locate and allows franchisees to get closer to their core customer base. Because these models typically involve a lease versus purchasing property, the launch process is less complicated and doesn’t include the permits, contractors and other steps involved with construction from the ground up. The new preferred model is also significantly less expensive and faster to build; your Tony Roma’s location can be open in almost half the time of a freestanding build.
Revamped menu offers fan favorites with an innovative twist
We’ve introduced an updated menu that coincides with the unveiling of our new prototype restaurant design. Our new Bones & Bites selection features innovative new takes on ribs — lamb ribs, pastrami pork ribs and crispy pork ribs — and allows diners to customize their dining experience, which holds vast appeal to the large millennial demographic. Our fan favorites that consumers crave are still there, but we have adapted our menu to respond to changing consumer demand. We’re also featuring local craft brews on our new menu, which are a huge selling point for the communities in which we operate.
“People today are eating differently and wanting smaller portions, and we’re responding to that trend while still remaining true to our core DNA that makes our menu stand out,” says Senior Vice President of Culinary Bob Gallagher. “We are reimagining our brand to a more modern and elegant look while keeping it relevant to Tony Roma’s. Our menu will be more diverse but smaller — with a focus on innovative ways to offer our signature mouthwatering ribs that has made Tony Roma’s a household name worldwide.”