Sbarro, which you know as the omnipresent food court pizza place, is going through a period of turmoil. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April of last year.
Now armed with new CEO Jim Greco, Sbarro's has a big plan to turn things around, reports Paul Frumkin at Nation's Restaurant News.
It wants to go upscale and convert into a fast-casual format.
But how in the world is it going to manage such a massive transformation? Sbarro's isn't exactly known as the pinnacle of pizza quality in its current state.
Here's how it's planning to do it:
Make the food more tasty: Greco says the company is talking with consultants to make staples like pizza crust, cheese and tomato sauce taste better.
Made-to-order pasta: Sbarro plans on offering a variety of pasta, sauce and cheese which customers can customize to their liking.
New equipment: the Italian chain will install new stovetops for the made-to-order pasta.
Send employees to charm school: Sbarro employees will go to hospitality training.
Repositioning a brand so drastically needs a serious marketing push as well, even through Sbarro's doesn't do much traditional advertising. There's no word yet on what form that will take, but Sbarro's assures that its marketing materials will "reflect" its strategic shift.
It's going to take a lot of work, but the willingness to change in big ways is certainly a step forward.
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