Chef Anthony Russo, the founder of dining concepts that include Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, announced Wednesday plans to expand the brands' footprint in the Hawaiian Islands.

"Hawaii's first franchised Russo's restaurant has become the favorite choice for authentic Italian in the Aloha State," says Chef Anthony, a formally trained chef who opened his first Russo's New York Pizzeria in 1992 and later introduced the upscale Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. "Our plan is to add two additional locations to Oahu, Maui, Kona, and Hawaii over the next 12 to 18 months, resulting in a strong showing of Chef Anthony's restaurant concepts. Each location will add 25 to 30 new jobs and boost the local economies while enhancing the city's revenue stream."

Already established in Ewa Beach with a thriving Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, franchise partner Robert Carlisle has experienced results by delivering exceptional guest service, crafting Italian selections and providing an engaging customer experience, which has resulted in strong sales. Chef Anthony's unique menu features its signature Coal-Fired Pizzas along with a broad selection of handmade pasta dishes, made-from-scratch Italian selections, and fresh all-natural salads.

Russo's charts 2015 with openings in Spring, San Antonio, Katy and Brownsville, Texas, and celebrates the signing of two additional units in Austin and locations in Harlingen, Laredo, and South Padre Island, Texas. An additional 10 to 12 restaurants are planned to be signed this year throughout Texas markets like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. Currently, there are 28 Russo's restaurants in development system-wide.

"With Hawaii's growing economy and room on the islands for more of our authentic Italian options, the state offers access to promising locations. We anticipate a very successful expansion with our established brands and a management team committed to supporting our franchisees every step of the way, we're confident in our future with Hawaii," Chef Anthony says.

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