Tony Roma's is a full service, casual dining family restaurant where you can find premier BBQ ribs and steaks in over 150 locations across the world.
From Miami to Los Angeles, Orlando to Edmonton, and Tokyo to Madrid, Tony Roma's serves its signature BBQ ribs, world famous onion loaf, and other steak, chicken and seafood entrees to thousands of guests every day.
The restaurants take pride in using the freshest greens, herbs, fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood for its salads and entrees. It's part of a tradition that includes making dozens of items from scratch every day -- like fire-roasted vegetables, oven-baked desserts, hand-mashed redskin potatoes with real cream, sauces, marinades, dressings and original steak and seafood toppings.
The company said sales are nearly $300 million per year. The chain is 95% owned by franchise partners and 75% are overseas.
The first "Tony Roma's" was opened in North Miami, FL on January 20, 1972. The family restaurant featured casual décor, comfortable ambience and the feel of a neighborhood bar. The menu was simple and consisted of great tasting food, reasonable prices, late evening service and nightly live entertainment. Baby Back Ribs emerged as the house specialty with people traveling miles to sample the signature product.
Tony Roma's Place soon became one of Miami's most popular and successful restaurants and firmly established its niche in the marketplace.
In January 1976, Clint Murchison Jr., a Texas financier and owner of the Dallas Cowboys was in Miami for the Super Bowl. After sampling Tony Roma's Ribs and Cole Slaw, he was convinced they were the best he had ever tasted. He offered to purchase the majority of the U.S. Franchise rights and establish a jointly owned company -- Roma Corporation to fund aggressive growth and expansion.
The second restaurant was opened in Broward County, FL in 1976 and in December of that year the first West Coast restaurant opened in Beverly Hills. The opening was in true Hollywood tradition with numerous celebrities and sports figures in attendance. Over the next five years new Tony Roma's were opened in Florida, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Texas.
The first international Tony Roma's, a Franchise, was also opened in Japan on August 9, 1979. The first domestically franchised Tony Roma's family steakhouse was opened in July 1982 in San Jose, CA. In 1983, Tony Roma transferred his development rights to Roma Corporation and the following year Clint Murchison Jr. sold his interest in Roma to his children. The headquarters was moved to Dallas, Texas and the company continued to grow both in Company and Franchise restaurant development.
In 1991, Romacorp, Inc. was created as an overall reorganization of the Roma companies. Since the Murchison days the company has changed hands a few times, most recently in late 2004 and is now operated under the guidance of 3 major private equity firms.
Updated June 29, 2014