Tony Roma’s is a full service, casual dining family restaurant where you can find premier BBQ ribs and steaks 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.
The first Tony Roma’s was opened in north Miami, Florida on January 20, 1972. The Baby Back Ribs has emerged as one of the house specialties and people traveled kilometers to experience the famous creation. Tony Roma’s Place soon became one of the most successful restaurants and one of the most popular in Miami, definitely establishing its niche in the market.
In January 1976, Clint Murchison Jr., owner of the Dallas Cowboys, bought most of US Franchise rights and founded Roma Corporation.
The first Tony Roma’s International (a franchise) was launched in Japan on August 9, 1979.
In 1980, everything changed for Tony Roma’s. We opened our first international location in Tokyo, Japan! With numerous other openings, Tony Roma’s now had locations in North America, Canada and Tokyo, Japan…let the journey begin!
The first American domestic franchise was inaugurated in July 1982 in San Jose, California.
Canada’s first Tony Roma’s opened in Winnipeg.
Tony Roma’s won “Best Ribs in America” in a national rib-eating contest, judged by an international panel, in Cleveland, OH. Going forward, we would win this award many more times.
Tony Roma’s Miami Lakes opened and the Carolina Honeys Barbecue Sauce was made from scratch.
Reported by the Los Angeles Times – The 5th Annual Celebrity Rib-Eating Contest was held on September 24, 1989 at Tony Roma’s, Universal City and netted $20,000. Proceeds went to the Starlight Foundation of Southern California.
The 90’s were a busy time for us. Not only did we begin with an aggressive expansion in Asia, but we also began offering two additional barbecue sauces; Blue Ridge Smokies and Red Hots to be exact. Along with an expansion in Southeast Asia, we also opened in South America with locations in Peru and Venezuela, along with a location in Central America in El Salvador. But wait, we can’t forget about the introduction of the Romarita (cocktails just make a meal better)!
We began aggressive expansion in Asia, opening the first restaurant in a number of SE Asia countries including Jakarta, Indonesia.
Locations were opened in Peru.
Tony Roma’s developed and began offering two additional barbecue sauces: Blue Ridge Smokies ,and Red Hots.
El Salvador was the first location to open in Central America in 1998.
Locations were opened in Venezuela.
The Romarita was developed and the drinks began to flow!
Even with the retiring of Chef David Smith, our original chef, and the loss of Tony Roma; Tony Roma’s kept things cooking in the kitchen! Between the years of 2001 and 2006 Tony Roma’s began to experiment with new menu items — one dish stole the show, our Famous Kickin’ Shrimp. Things began to heat up with the introduction of Executive Chef Bob Gallagher in the year 2006. Bringing an extensive culinary background, including the ability to blend flavors from all over the world; Chef Gallagher began to bring Tony Roma’s to the forefront of polished casual restaurants.
David Smith, the original chef, retired on July 2, 2001. He was the chef that created many of the signature dishes for Tony Roma’s, including our world famous baby back ribs.
We may have lost the man, but we’ll never lose his name and legacy. Tony Roma passed on June 13, 2003.
Kickin’ Shrimp added to the Tony Roma’s Menu.
Dubai opened in 2005, the first Middle East Tony Roma’s.
Bob Gallagher joined on August 16, 2006 as the first executive chef .
Tony Roma’s opens it’s first location in Malaysia!
Powered by fun, freedom and sauce, Tony Roma’s has celebrated over 45 years of business! With a flavorful menu changing from season to season and openings stretching from New York to Ireland, this decade looks to be extremely bright!
Tony Roma’s celebrates 40 years of business!
Tony Roma’s returns to the country of Brazil with its opening in Sao Paulo!
Tony Roma’s opens 26th restaurant in Canada. The new restaurant brings world-famous ribs to fans in Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay restaurant is located on the coast of Lake Superior and is near the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, a destination for thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year. The 8,400 square foot restaurant seats nearly 240 people, has a full bar serving an extensive collection of beer, wine and liquor including Tony Roma’s signature Romarita®, eight 60-inch TVs throughout the restaurant, and a private dining room to accommodate business functions and social gatherings.
Tony Roma’s debuts its new global prototype restaurant in Orlando, Florida, positioning the brand for future domestic and international growth by transforming the restaurant environment and introducing new innovative food and beverage offerings to meet the demands of today’s consumer.
Tony Roma’s wins “Best Marketing Campaign” at the Global Restaurant Awards in Dubai, UAE for the “Show Us Your Rib Face” social media campaign. The award was presented by The Caterer and its parent company, Travel Weekly Group. The campaign was also awarded the 2015 Loyalty360 CX Silver award in the category “Best Brand Messaging & Communications in Customer Experience.
Tony Roma’s opens its 12th restaurant in Malaysia in October 2016. The new restaurant is located in Johor Bahru, the capital of the Malaysian state of Johor.
Tony Roma’s Challenges Fans to Support Children in Their Community with the Purchase of ‘Appetizing’ Fundraising Cards benefiting Make-A-Wish.
Since its beginning over 45 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.