FDF Brandz adds Famoso Pizza to its hotel restaurant options

VANCOUVER — FDF Restaurant Brandz, which will have 26 Ricky's All Day Grills open on hotel properties by year end, has purchased the Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria chain, and is adding it to its hotel restaurant portfolio.

Frank Di Benedetto.

Frank Di Benedetto.

VANCOUVER — FDF Restaurant Brandz, which will have 26 Ricky's All Day Grills open on hotel properties by year end, has purchased the Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria chain, and is adding it to its hotel restaurant portfolio.

Canadian restaurateur and franchise developer Frank Di Benedetto, CEO and owner of FDF Restaurant Brandz, one of the country’s leading privately held restaurant franchising companies, announced the purchase of the 12-year-old Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria chain for an undisclosed amount on April 30.

Led by Ricky’s Group of Family-style restaurants, including Ricky’s All Day Grill, Ricky’s Country, Ricky’s hotel partners, and Ricky’s Cafés, as well as Fatbuger locations, the addition of approximately 30 Famoso locations in Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan brings the total FDF Brandz folio to about 170 franchise restaurant locations.

For more than 20 years, the company has been involved with hotel franchisees, and is known throughout the Canadian hotel industry for its Ricky's Hotel Partnership, which pairs Ricky's All Day Grills with hotel operations. 

Asked if Famoso would be an option for hotels, Di Benedetto said, “Potentially and possible. If I was asked about a perfect restaurant fit for hotels, I would say Ricky's All Day Grill, since we have 20 locations, soon to be 26. That kind of restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with an expanded bar, a wide range of banquet and restaurant services — and I would logically conclude that type of format is more suited for hotel operations.

“But there remains an opportunity, given our type of branding, to have a hotel anchored by a Ricky's All Day Grill, with an integrated Famoso menu. 

“We want to make sure there is a sufficient range of options for hoteliers that they would consider our branding platform for their lodging needs. With the range and size of some lodging, they could have three and four different food and beverage profit centres.

“There are a lot of potential synergies between Ricky's and Famoso — an interesting range for hotel developers to have in their facilities. We're talking about co-facilities rather than co-branding. A hotel could have the standard Ricky's breakfast, lunch and dinner format at one end, and a Famoso at the other end offering more alcohol, and an upscale menu. In terms of lodging, the business traveller could hold an important breakfast meeting at Ricky's in the morning, and then have a more upscale Famoso experience in the evening.”

The existing format — the Famoso 2500 model, with 2,500 square feet of space, would be more appropriate than the Famoso Pronto model, which is smaller, more rapid-paced with a limited menu of pizza, some pasta and salads and more suited to take-out and delivery in more populated areas.

“We are delighted to bring the popular Famoso chain into the fold and welcome the franchise owners of these neighbourhood pizzerias known for using authentic ingredients and processes to create flavorful Neapolitan pizzas and other tasty choices,” said Di Benedetto. 

“This is a great fit for FDF Brandz as it allows us to add a new segment to our growing restaurant folio, with Ricky’s covering family casual, Fatburger in the premium burger fast casual category, and now with Famoso representing the premium casual pizzeria and bar segment.”