Our Story

Tony Roma's is a full service, casual dining family restaurant where you can find premier chicken, Seafood, steaks and BBQ ribs in locations across the world. With over 150 family restaurant locations on six continents, Tony Roma’s is one of the most globally recognizable names in the industry. From Miami to Los Angeles, Orlando to Edmonton, and Tokyo to Dubai, 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 first “Tony Roma’s” was opened in North Miami, Florida 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. 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, Florida 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 US franchised Tony Roma’s family steakhouse was opened in July 1982 in San Jose, California. 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.

Expansion has been strong in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as continued growth in Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States. Tony Roma’s today has Company and Franchise operations throughout the world. The company’s worldwide sales are in excess of $290 Million and the system is approximately 90% operated by Franchise Partners. Approximately 75% of the restaurants are operated outside of the U.S.

Since its beginning nearly 40 years ago, Tony Roma’s has been focused on serving its signature Baby Back Ribs. The company has won numerous awards across the country for the “Best Ribs” and also has won nationally acclaimed industry recognition as “The Best Ribs in America”.

Tony Roma’s is not just a place for ribs anymore. We have expanded our menu to focus on variety for all guests; not just rib eaters. We have an extensive selection of Steaks and Seafood entrees along with the most unique appetizers and mini desserts in our segment today. We have redesigned our buildings and our service to meet the ever-changing mindset of our guests.

The first Tony Roma’s in the Middle East was opened in Dubai, at the Ibn Battuta Mall on May 12, 2005. Since then the company has grown to 3 locations in Dubai and is currently looking for further expansion within the UAE.

The Company’s mission is “Great Food delivered by Professional, Friendly Team Members resulting in Guest loyalty… Worldwide.”