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The Tony Roma’s Story

Birth of a legend

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.

How it all started


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 7, 1979.

Tony Roma's Goes International

Die 1980er Jahre

In den 1980er Jahren begann Tony Roma’s Expansion um den Globus. Neue Restaurants eröffnen in Nordamerika, Kanada Japan.


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.

It's All About the Ribs


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.


Tony Roma’s at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz opened by Mas Millenium D GmbH. It closed in 2018 due to expiring leases and renovation of the building.

Changing of the Guard



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.


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.


Tony Roma’s opens it’s first location in Malaysia!

Unstoppable Growth


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 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 in Berlin at the Uber Platz (previously known as Mercedes Platz) is being opened by the new franchisee, A&A American Food Concepts GmbH.