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Why This Lawyer, Politician and Multi-Brand Franchisee Is Investing in Romeo's Pizza

Eddie Lucio signed a deal for a whopping 40 Romeo's Pizza units in Texas to diversify his impressive professional portfolio and deliver sweet smiles to local families.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 12:12PM 08/27/21

Romeo’s Pizza, the 50+-unit emerging pizza franchise out of Medina, Ohio, is one of the most sought-after new franchise opportunities in the pizza segment. After breaking sales records in both 2019 and 2020, the food-first pizza brand has already signed 30 new franchise agreements this year thanks to its franchisee-centric opportunity, community-oriented business model, wide open market availability and impressive sales trajectory. Now, with the goal of reaching 70 units open by the end of 2021, Romeo’s Pizza is looking for qualified franchise owners to help expand the brand across the country. 

But according to CEO Ryan Rose, the brand is not interested in partnering with just anyone. “Just because you have a lot of money, that doesn’t mean you are going to get approved,” he said. “Our franchisees are not just buying a store; they are joining a family. That’s something we take very seriously, so we’re looking for people who share our values — people who want to support their communities and take an active role in growing the brand with us.”

Eddie Lucio is one of those people. Lucio is a Texas-based lawyer, politician, entrepreneur and multi-unit franchisee for OrangeTheory Fitness who signed on with Romeo’s Pizza at the end of 2020.

“I am an attorney with a small practice, commercial law firm,” said Lucio. “Aside from my professional life, I serve in the Texas legislature and have been a state representative for 16 years. After over a decade in the law world, I started to really love small business and my clients, so I wanted to try it out myself. I bought my first franchise with OrangeTheory, followed by a few other brands.”

When Lucio decided to expand his portfolio, he thought back to his love for Romeo's Pizza and the quality time he spent there with his family. “They care about the taste of their pizza, quality and ingredients,” he said. “Pizza is a big category, but Romeo’s is a gourmet, high-quality pizza business that was built around affordability for families. That is a recipe for success that I’ve learned from my other brands. You take an outstanding product and industry and make it as affordable as possible.”

Lucio signed on for 40 units in Texas and hopes to buy more. There are currently two units open and three in construction. Throughout the build-out process, he says the Romeo’s Pizza team was very supportive, engaged and committed to helping him succeed.

“Eddie is a great fit for Romeo’s, and we are so excited to have him on our team as we continue to expand the brand,” said Rose. “The thing that really separates Romeo’s from other pizza franchises is our commitment to franchisee success. We understand that our growth as a franchise depends entirely on the growth and satisfaction of our franchisees, so we’ve fine-tuned every aspect of our business model and operations to support them.”

Rose has an intimate understanding of the needs of Romeo’s franchisees like Lucio because he has been one himself for several years. After joining the corporate team, he utilized this experience to embark on a year-and-a-half-long project to refine Romeo’s franchise model and improve every aspect of the consumer and franchisee experience. 

Today, this new-and-improved business model has helped the brand break sales records and position owners like Lucio for scalable success. As the brand looks to expand its franchise footprint across the country, Romeo’s goal is to offer the communities it serves more than just top-tier pizza. The brand is adamant about making each location a pillar of its neighborhood, supporting the community both inside and outside the store. 

“My favorite part of Romeo’s is the opportunity to meet people and give them something that makes them smile,” said Lucio. “When I deliver pizza on time, hot and fresh, they look back at me and smile. That is a great feeling. Everybody's coming together. It brings me joy to give families that feeling. I take the time to meet customers and say thank you for your business because those connections really drive us. When I see people in the store a second time, I know we’ll have them as guests for life.”

The initial investment range for a Romeo’s Pizza franchise is between $128,000 – $403,000 per unit including franchise fees, building improvement costs, training, equipment, operating cash reserves and any additional needs. To learn more about franchising with Romeo’s Pizza, visit