In our very visual world, consumers have developed a keen awareness of design. What we see and how it makes us feel impacts our response to our environment in virtually every facet of our lives. The importance and impact of design in the restaurant industry is an on going and growing trend for restaurants as they scramble for recognition. “The U.S. restaurant industry is huge: $800 billion in annual sales with some 625,000 restaurants each trying to set itself apart from the others. One effective way of differentiating a restaurant brand is to design around a theme or concept that conveys a story to customers as they dine.” Reports international architectural design firm, AD&V.
Vincent Celano, founder and principal of New York-based Celano Design Studio says, “The guest experience starts when he or she walks in the door. He stresses the importance of graphics that are unique to the concept and that convey a sense of brand personality. “The menu, the graphics, and the signage become the identity of the brand and the concept, whereas fine dining or casual dining is more about the expectation of the food,” Celano says. “Fast casual has to identify immediately; you have to bring the product up front as part of the guest experience.”
The days of generic décor are gone and Riko’s has taken this trend to heart. They’ve created a brand experience that draws customers into a venue that redefines the traditional neighborhood pizzeria and conveys a unique personality and ambience.
The careful attention to details; warm wood tones, brick, contemporary tile, rustic lighting fixtures, menus that recall old time wood menu boards and oversized vintage photos of ancestors of Riko’s founders, Luigi Cardillo and Rico Imbrogno, brings warmth and personality to the space. It is contemporary with traditional accents that blend nostalgia with today, and familiar with new.
Co-owner Luigi Cardillo explains, “From our logo to the design of our full-service prototype restaurant on Hope Street in Stamford Connecticut, we’ve made choices that define the Riko brand and project the image that is unique to our story. Our decision to feature distinctive black and white photos of our family members reflects our belief in family and our ties to the past. We want our customers, our employees, and our community to know we are a family-focused business interested in building relationships and making a contribution as well as satisfying the demand for high quality, thin crust pizza. I believe it is a defining point that sets us apart. We take our business personally and our look reflects that.”
The story is one of warmth, comfort and quality. The friendly yet stylish ambience pairs with the simple menu of classic thin crust pizzas and wings along with tempting innovations to create an inviting experience to return to regularly for family night, casual date night, or an easy night of hanging with friends.
Franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, says, ”The Riko concept is both memorable and recognizable. Best of all it features a flexible footprint that translates and adapts with equal appeal from a full-service neighborhood restaurant to a fast-casual venue while keeping the brand experience consistent and intact. That ensures franchisees can build on a proven concept.”
With a clear vision, memorable concept and foresight Riko’s is fired up ready for growth and expansion.
Inspiration for opening a restaurant comes from many sources, ours is rooted in the enduring values of family, a belief in simple handmade, homemade food and finding the best means to serve the time-honored passion for pizza. Today Riko’s is an evolution of the classic mom and pop pizza places we all grew up with. It is familiar, inviting and smells delicious yet offers a modern next-generation twist designed to meet today’s fast casual lifestyle. We like to say, “It’s a good place to be.” And that translates into “It’s a good place to be” all ‘round: a good place to eat, a good place to work and a good place to own.
Since opening our first location in 2011 in Stamford CT, our family-centric enterprise has evolved and adapted to the changing pizza industry, local real estate markets, and consumers’ lifestyles. We have developed two proven operating models in three locations; full-service, casual restaurant with full bar and the fast casual model; take-out and delivery. Both models have three points of service: dine-in, call/online ordering for pick up and call/online ordering for delivery. And that’s unique in the casual dining space.
Riko’s franchise opportunities are uniquely flexible, streamlined and turn-key. And while we have refined and tweaked our business models over the past 7 years, we have retained our core philosophy; a long-standing esteem for family and relationships, quality food from our own family recipes, and warm hospitality. Our respect for guests, our employees, and our community is the cornerstone of our success.
Our menu is a study (a labor of love, to be sure) in simplicity, in delicious food, and no-fail processes. Our signature 6-slice, thin crust pizza made from a 70-year-old recipe starting with a proprietary pizza dough and sauce, that tops a carefully crafted, streamlined menu. Best sellers like cheese, pepperoni and hot oil pizza satisfy family favorites while innovations, like Chicken Scarpariello, a host of salad pizzas, specialty pies like Hawaiian pizza, Mac ‘N Cheese Pizza and Veggie Pizza tempt guests looking to try something new. Our baked (not fried) chicken wings, fresh-made salads and tempting dessert selections offer a high-quality, family friendly, affordable meal to be enjoyed at our tables, at home or on the go.
Franchise owners and guests alike are assured of consistency with every thin crust pie. Our proprietary, simplified cooking process draws on equipment, instructions and no-fail recipes that are easily perfected by cooks and non-cooks. We boast that we can teach anyone to make our pies with our process in about 10 minutes. That typifies the thoughtful approach we have taken to all aspects of the business. We blend our strong, family-based values with a simple menu, systems and operations to ensure quality, consistency, and success. That’s the “secret sauce” for driving success and growth while keeping Riko’s a good place to be.
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