Pizza chain, Sbarro, has recently announced that they are exiting bankruptcy protection. Sbarro also announced they will be moving their headquarters from New York to Ohio.
For most of us, especially kids who grew up in the 90s, we remember Sbarro as “the pizza place in the mall”. For almost two decades, Sbarro has been synonymous with malls and Italian, well Americanized Italian food. But that changed earlier this year on May 10th, when Sbarro filed for bankruptcy, as reported here on The Inquisitr. In Sbarro’s defense, part of their problem isn’t that they didn’t serve good, or at least acceptably decent food, but where most of their restaurants are located: malls. Just like it was written earlier in this article, Sbarro is “the pizza place in the mall”, and unfortunately for them, malls have taken a downturn in popularity.
Hearing that Sbarro is leaving bankruptcy protection is a light at the end of the tunnel for the chain, especially since it sounds as if they have a contingency plan in this dire time.
In an article by MSN Money, the court filings stated that the judge approved Sbarro’s reorganization plan on May 19th, and it would take place on Monday. Sbarro stated it will move its company headquarters to Columbus, Ohio, primarily to reduce expenses and to be closer to the main business center for its new sister restaurant, Pizza Cucinova, which lets people build their own pizzas.
Unfortunately, Sbarro restructuring itself to Columbus, Ohio means that 40 jobs are now eliminated, but the 2,700 other employees nationwide, mostly in Sbarro restaurants still open, are safe.
In another report by the Christian Science Monitor, this new move by Sbarro may mean they can bounce back and become the “Chipotle of pizza”, meaning that there is no restaurant in the “fast-casual restaurant” section as of yet. So far, the biggest companies that fit this description are Chipotle, Moe’s Mexican Grill, Pollo Tropical, and probably the biggest name pertain to this form of restaurant, Panera Bread Company. Neither really specialize in pizza or Italian food.
The restaurant industry is lacking an untapped opportunity in the fast-casual pizza sector. Panera Bread Company and Chipotle see this and are trying to make their own pizza ventures. This is where Sbarro has the advantage. First, Sbarro knows pizza. It’s their bread and butter in their business. Second, Sbarro already has Pizza Cucinova which is a pizza restaurant in the fast-casual restaurant sector. If Pizza Cucinova proves successful, all the other Sbarro locations can be remade into the new brand.
It would be good to see Sbarro, a pizza place that is beloved among most young people in the 90s, to bounce back. Let’s just hope that David Madoff, an attorney who’s been associated with the Sbarro bankruptcy, statement holds very little to no weight:
“It’s [Sbarro] is like fixing an old shoe. You can keep repairing it, but every time it gets weaker and weaker.”