Russo's Restaurants, parent company of Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, has announced plans to significantly expand domestically and internationally in 2014.

According to a company news release, Russo's plans to open an additional 12 to 15 restaurants in 2014 in markets such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, as well as Honolulu and in the Middle East, in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Currently, there are 26 Russo's Restaurants in development.

"This year has been an exciting one," said Chef Anthony Russo, who opened his first Russo's New York Pizzeria in 1992 and later developed Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. "We've opened several new restaurants and signed more agreements for future Russo's locations. We've also unveiled some impressive plans for a new corporate headquarters, hired a seasoned director of franchising and we're working on a new look for our concepts."

Leading Russo's growth is franchising veteran Alfred Naddaff, who was the original franchising director of Boston Chicken Inc. and founding member of Einstein Bros. Bagels. He recently joined the Russo's franchising team as the director of franchise development.

Russo's has also provided a recap of its achievements in 2013, including agreements to open four new restaurants in the U.S., and the actual opening of six restaurants. One of Russo's locations in development is off of Highway 10 in Houston. The new restaurant will have a new look, which will serve as the prototype of future Russo's Restaurants. Construction is estimated to begin in February of 2014.

Additionally, Russo's has broken ground on a new corporate support center in the Houston area. The 10,000-square-foot office is equipped with a gourmet training kitchen and a research and development center.

Read more about franchising and growth.

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