In an effort to improve the overall financial performance of the company, Sbarro Holdings Inc. has closed 155 company-owned units in North America. The move is designed to “facilitate continued growth and investment in the brand,” announced Jonathan Dedmon, a spokesman for the company.
Recently, the pizza chain has made a conscious move to rebrand itself as a more upscale dining experience. In October 2013, Sbarro’s debuted Pizza Cucinova, a higher end, fast-casual approach to pizza, in Columbus, Ohio. They also announced plans for a selection of made-to-order pizzas called Sbarro Brooklyn Fresh.
In 2011, Sbarro filed for bankruptcy and has continued to struggle since then. In 2012, Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Sbarro had 417 company-owned locations and 174 franchised units. Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, Inc., told NRN that although the company was making the right decision in closing several branches, restructuring would need to be dramatic.
“At this stage, it might be too little too late for them,” said Tristano. “If they go in this direction, they’ll have to close their losers and focus on the winning locations with higher opportunity for them.”