Chris Russo established the first Hurricane Grill & Wings in Fort Pierce, Florida, in 1995. Over the next decade, Russo opened another two units before partnering with Michael Matakaetis, a former Dunkin’ Donuts executive. Russo and Matakaetis formed Hurricane Brand Holdings LLC in 2005. The team developed a franchising program that year and successfully sold 90 Hurricane franchises in 2006. In late 2008, the chain was acquired by Hurricane AMT, LLC. Since its inception, the chain has expanded across Florida. Hurricane Grill & Wings recently opened its first out-of-state unit in Arizona. The restaurant is a full-service varied-menu concept that features a beach-themed atmosphere with an eco-friendly focus. The company operates freestanding and inline sites that range from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet and seat up to 45 customers indoors and additional customers on outdoor patios. 

LocationStuart, Fla.
2009 Systemwide Sales$39,800,000*
% Change in Sales12.9%
2009 U.S. Units32
% Change in Units6.7%
2009 Average Unit Volume$1,300,000*
% Change in AUV2.0%
Future 50 Year2010