Sbarro, the iconic New York style pizza franchise, is back in the game.
The chain emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2014 and is now undergoing a major overhaul.
At the time of the company’s first Chapter 11 filing in 2011, it was ranked as the fifth top pizza chain in the country.
But as most of their stores were located in food courts and airports, their business relied heavily on ever-dwindling consumer foot traffic in the midst of the recession.
Despite emerging from bankruptcy within a year, the pizza chain still struggled with debt and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time in 2013.
But now, riding on the wind of a total branding makeover, Sbarro’s fortunes are looking up. They recently announced their first stand-alone restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. “We’ve listened to our customers and are excited to take our concept out of the food court setting and into their neighbourhoods,” says CEO J. David Karam. They plan to open more independent storefronts in the area, offering delivery service as well, according to a company release.
An updated menu with a focus on fresh, quality ingredients is also in store for the revamped pizza chain.
The company sports a sleek new branding, foregoing the dated Italian flag logo for a simpler look, as well as recalling the chain’s humble Brooklyn beginnings with the new tag-line “NYC.1956”.
Extensive remodeling of their US and overseas locations is ongoing, keeping in line with the cleanly, modern brand update. Sbarro is also experimenting with the fast casual craze, having opened their Cucinova restaurant in late 2013.
The fast casual concept, now with two locations in Columbus and Cincinnati, features artisan pizzas cooked to order in wood stone ovens within three minutes, as well as customised pasta and salad dishes.
Hopefully the company’s new gamble will be a success, ending the last few years’ uncertainty.
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