Tony Roma’s New International Drive Prototype Restaurant Heralds New Era of U.S. Expansion
Our brand’s exciting new design and menu entice both longtime customers and a new generation of fans
Tony Roma’s has returned to its Florida roots this fall with the opening of our exciting new prototype restaurant on International Drive in Orlando. The modern, open restaurant design and transformed menu are receiving rave reviews from loyal fans as well as newcomers to our iconic brand.
The fully updated location on Orlando’s famed I-Drive is situated in the heart of the city’s bustling tourism community. The new restaurant heralds our refocus on domestic growth, and we are excited to unveil the most significant update in our brand’s rich history. Tony Roma’s I-Drive location also premiers an innovative revamp of our menu.
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.
The much anticipated new I-Drive location is “a formula for growth and the wave of the future,” according to our President and CEO Stephen K. Judge. “This is not a remodel; it’s a new renovation. What we’ve done here with our new design is to come up with a restaurant concept that can really fit into any major city or suburban development in North America, including Canada.”
New flexible modern design meets the needs of today’s consumer
When Tony Roma’s opened in 1972 in North Miami, it was a traditional dining establishment reflective of that era, with dark wood, a dimly lit interior and enclosed spaces typical of a steakhouse. 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.
Our founder, Tony Roma, was a charismatic and savvy businessman who loved nothing more than to entertain his friends and make visitors to his North Miami restaurant feel welcome. The new prototype restaurant in Orlando features a spacious and welcoming outdoor dining area that is an extension of the restaurant’s interior and double the original size. With ample outdoor seating, an inviting indoor/outdoor bar, an outdoor fireplace and tons of TV screens, the patio is the perfect gathering spot for customers to enjoy delicious food and local craft beers with friends while watching their favorite sports teams.
Updated menu showcases our innovative flair as a ribs pioneer
When people dine out today they want to be able to customize their dining experience. One of the most exciting additions to our menu is the new “Bones & Bites” menu, which offers diners the opportunity to customize their Tony Roma’s experience to their preferences.
Fans of Tony Roma’s will still find their favorites on our menu, such as our mouthwatering baby back ribs, our world-famous Onion Loaf, popular Kickin’ Shrimp and our tasty Romarita®, in addition to 35 new menu items. The updated menu also showcases our innovative flair for ribs, introducing new cooking techniques and varieties, such as lamb ribs and the “Porkstrami” pastrami rib.
“At Tony Roma’s we are a legacy for baby back ribs so one of the central points to our menu is taking the rib experience and changing it for our guests and introducing innovation. We are known as experts in cooking ribs, but we want to be known as rib innovators,” says Bob Gallagher, Vice President of Culinary, an internationally renowned chef in his own right.
Prime locations available nationwide
After years of building our footprint internationally, our new company leadership is poised to strategically grow Tony Roma’s in the United States and Canada. With more than 150 locations in more than 30 countries, Tony Roma’s offers significant room for growth in major metropolitan areas, shopping malls and secondary markets.
The new open floor plan is not only more aesthetically pleasing, modern and elegant, but it is also a better buy for investors. We’ve changed our preferred building model from freestanding to an in-line, end cap or mall location. These restaurants are more flexible to locate and allow franchisees to get closer to their core customer base. Because these models typically involve a lease, the launch process is simplified — minus building permits, contractors and other building processes. This new model is significantly less expensive and is also faster to build.
The U.S. and Canadian markets are wide open, and we are targeting 250 new locations over the next decade. “The opportunity 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 the U.S. and Canada.