Riko’s Pizza—a highly differentiated pizza franchise concept famous for its thin crust pies, local neighborhood atmosphere, and extensive selection of craft drinks—announced several key growth updates as the company begins its strategic expansion throughout the United States.
Founded by serial entrepreneur and pizza connoisseur, Rico Imbrogno, Riko’s started as a single-location family business in Stamford in 2011 and opened its fourth corporate location in Connecticut (Darien) in March 2023. Since then, Riko’s has been selectively franchising and expanding out of state, with the Company now confirming the Q4 2023 opening of its new locations in Pompano Beach and Miami Beach, Florida. With the addition of these two franchise-owned locations, Riko’s will have 10 sites across three states—Connecticut, Florida, and New York—by the start of 2024. These openings will also bring Riko’s total number of South Florida locations to three, stretching the brand in the Sunshine State from the top of the Gold Coast to the shores of Miami—one of the fastest growing regions in the country. The Company first entered the Florida market with the opening of a franchise-owned location in Tequesta (Jupiter) last year.
“After a decade-plus of establishing our brand as a clear leader in Connecticut, the proven pizza capital of the world, we are now on a mission to save the rest of the country from the limited, lackluster pizza offerings available to them,” says Rico, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Riko’s. “Our super-thin crust ‘bar pies’ are cooked to crispy perfection using only the highest quality ingredients, proprietary chef techniques, and revolutionary equipment. This combination of delicious food, amazing drinks, and good vibes is completely different from what consumers and the U.S. franchise industry are used to, and we are excited to continue introducing this amazing concept—and with it, actual great pizza—to new markets all around America.”
In addition to these two planned South Florida locations, Riko’s has signed numerous new franchisees over the past 18 months during its soft launch phase. Several of these new franchisees are currently in the process of identifying proper sites and will open their businesses over the next 12 months. These include operations in multiple key growth markets, such as Austin, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; and Suffolk County, New York (Long Island). Overall, the Company has experienced a 50 percent increase year-over-year in franchise sales, with demand increasing monthly.
“At Riko’s, we are absolutely committed to ensuring two things: customer satisfaction and franchisee success,” says Luigi Cardillo, partner and Chief Operating Officer of Riko’s. “When we began the soft launch phase of our franchisee program in 2019, our goal was to test the waters—and given the robust franchisee demand we have witnessed, we can say with absolute confidence that Riko’s Pizza offers a truly unique concept that appeals to all audiences. Further, our partnership style approach empowers our franchisees to achieve success both early after opening and consistently over time. As we look towards the back-half of 2023, we are thrilled to officially close out the soft launch phase with so much momentum and begin our strategic expansion throughout the U.S.”
To support Riko’s growth and the evolution of the franchisee program, last year the Company tapped senior finance industry veteran, Robert Furnari, to serve as its Chief Financial Officer. Robert joined the Company from The Northern Trust Company, where he was a Senior Outsourced Chief Investment Officer and Global Head of Portfolio Insight in the firm’s Asset Management business. He brings over 30 years of senior-level experience building and managing financial systems.