US casual-dining chain Tony Roma's is coming to the UK, opening in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, in September.
The first grilled rib restaurant is to be followed by two more over the next two years. If successful, the brand will be rolled out across the UK. The concept is aimed at leisure and mid-market consumers and will compete with similar US-style brands such as Frankie & Benny's and TGI Fridays.
Average spend at the 82-seat, 7,000 ft square site in Kingston is expected to be £10-£15 including drinks.
Kieran Mallon, operations director of the new UK franchise and formerly managing director at Le Petit Blanc, said: "The mid-market casual dining sector is going from strength to strength, so we believe it's a good time to enter."
The franchise has been bought by new start-up company American Italian Company backed by entrepreneur and executive director Peter Sakal.
Tony Roma's has 260 restaurants in 27 countries, including Australia, Japan and South America.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 17 June 2004