Miami Beach, Fla.-based Pizza Rustica has signed its first two leases under a Master Franchise Agreement to open units in the Middle East.

The first new location will be in Bahrain in The Lagoon retail development in the heart of Amwaj Island. The second is in Kuwait in the city of Sabah Al-Salem on the country's coast. The locations are expected to open within the next few months.

"We have taken the first steps of our expansion into the Middle East," said Pino Piroso, founder of Pizza Rustica. "We are so pleased to introduce our fresh, high quality pizza to these incredible new markets."

Pizza Rustica serves fresh pizzas, salads and Panini sandwiches. It is known for its display of large pans of rectangular pizzas and toppings, as well as its tagline "pizza a taglia," (by the slice) which is modeled after the pizza sold on the streets of Rome, Italy.

The chain has plans for additional international expansion in the coming year.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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