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Tony Roma's Opening First U.S. Franchise in Six Years


You might say it's been a while for Tony Roma's, the rib-based chain that had previously paused all U.S. growth efforts, but the brand just announced the opening of its newest restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida—a notable milestone for the brand. 

The restaurant is the first new Tony Roma’s restaurant opened in the USA since 2014, and the first new USA restaurant opened since Tony Roma’s brand transformation and the launch of Tony Roma’s Orlando, FL. global prototype in October 2016. The new Tony Roma’s restaurant, owned and operated by GEM Hospitality, LLC, incorporates key elements of the global prototype, including Tony Roma’s innovative new menu.

“As we begin 2018, we are thrilled to open our first new Tony Roma’s USA location since 2014 in West Palm Beach with Brian Vermeulen and his team at GEM Hospitality,” said Bradley Scher, president and CEO of Romacorp, Inc. “We expect 2018 to be a banner year for the Tony Roma’s brand as we ramp up new restaurant growth in the USA and internationally, strengthening the foundation forged through our recent brand transformation work. The West Palm Beach restaurant is the first of many new Tony Roma’s restaurants planned for 2018 that will leverage our global prototype work, and we are confident that Brian and his team will be great ambassadors for the transformed Tony Roma’s.”

“After experiencing the new global prototype in Orlando and trying the innovative new menu, we couldn’t wait to get started on our own Tony Roma’s restaurant,” said Brian Vermeulen, owner and managing member of GEM Hospitality, LLC.  “We are truly excited to bring the signature tastes of Tony Roma’s to West Palm Beach and look forward to treating our guests at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport hotel and the local community to the one-of-a-kind Tony Roma’s experience that first began in South Florida over 45 years ago.” 

Located near the Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) and minutes away from Palm Beach’s scenic beachfront and famous Worth Avenue, the restaurant is located inside the Hilton Palm Beach Airport hotel and has more than 3,000 square feet and more than 176 seats. 

This is the latest in a string of transformational announcements for Tony Roma’s, including new licensing deals in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, renewed USA restaurant growth with new development and franchise agreements in Tennessee, Colorado, and Idaho, and accelerated international restaurant growth with new development agreements in Spain, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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