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Sbarro, LLC
Founded1956;63 years ago (1956)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
FoundersGennaro Sbarro
Carmela Sbarro
Headquarters Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro (founders)
J. David Karam (CEO and President)
Products Italian-American cuisine, pizza, pasta, salads

Sbarro, LLC is a pizzeria chain that specializes in New York-style pizza sold by the slice and other Italian-American cuisine. In 2011, the company was ranked 15th in foreign system wide sales among U.S.-based quick-serve and fast-casual companies by QSR Magazine. [1] In 2008, Sbarro was rated the #1 Quick Service Restaurant in the Italian segment by Entrepreneur magazine. Not all reports were positive, as the food quality had been criticized, [2] [3] [4] with a suggestion that this was a factor that led to two bankruptcies. [5] Sbarro has over 800 locations in 33 countries. [6] Sbarro stores are located in shopping malls, airports, service areas, and college campuses, as well as in The Pentagon, American naval bases, and casinos.

New York-style pizza large hand-tossed thin crust pizza

New York-style pizza is pizza made with a characteristically large hand-tossed thin crust, often sold in wide slices to go. The crust is thick and crisp only along its edge, yet soft, thin, and pliable enough beneath its toppings to be folded in half to eat. Traditional toppings are simply tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Pizza by the slice prepared slice of pizza

Pizza by the slice is a fast food purveyed by pizzeria restaurants and food stands as prepared slices of pizza. It is a common dish and street food in various areas of the world. Some restaurants and pizza stands only sell pizza by the slice, while others sell both slices and whole pizzas. The jumbo slice is a large-sized slice of New York-style pizza that is a prominent food in Washington, D.C. Pizza al taglio is a variety of pizza that originated in Rome, Italy and is typically purveyed by the slice and sold by weight.

Italian-American cuisine style of Italian cuisine

Italian-American cuisine is a style of Italian cuisine adapted throughout the United States. Italian-American food has been shaped throughout history by various waves of immigrants and their descendants, called Italian Americans. As immigrants from the different regions of Italy settled throughout the various regions of the United States, many brought with them a distinct regional Italian culinary tradition. Many of these foods and recipes developed into new favorites for the townspeople and later for Americans nationwide.



20th century

Sbarro was founded in 1956 by Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro. The couple and their three sons, Joseph, Mario, and Anthony, immigrated to America from Naples, Italy. The same year, the Sbarro family opened their first salumeria (an Italian grocery store) at 1701 65th Street and 17th Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, which became popular for its fresh food and Italian fare.[ citation needed ] Its original location closed down in 2004.

Naples Comune in Campania, Italy

Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is a borough of New York City coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States. It is New York City's most populous borough, with an estimated 2,504,700 residents in 2010. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island.

The success of the Sbarro Salumeria led to the opening of additional locations in the New York City metropolitan area. In 1970, Sbarro opened its first mall-based restaurant in Brooklyn's Kings Plaza Shopping Center. One of their busiest outlets was located in the World Trade Center mall, though it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Shopping mall Complex of shops with interconnecting walkways

A shopping mall is a modern, chiefly North American, term for a form of shopping precinct or shopping center in which one or more buildings form a complex of shops with interconnecting walkways, usually indoors. In 2017, shopping malls accounted for 8% of retailing space in the United States.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) Former skyscraper complex in Manhattan, New York

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

21st century

In early 2007, Sbarro was acquired by MidOcean Partners, a private equity firm with offices in New York and London. [7]

MidOcean Partners is an American private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and growth capital investments in middle-market companies. The firm has historically focused on investments in middle market companies in four core industries including business services; consumer and leisure companies, media and niche industrial services.

Private equity typically refers to investment funds, generally organized as limited partnerships, that buy and restructure companies that are not publicly traded.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 4, 2011. [8] [9] At the time it was ranked by Pizza Today as the country's fifth-largest pizza chain. [10] It was the third-largest pizza chain to declare bankruptcy in less than a year. Earlier, Round Table Pizza (ranked no. 10) and Uno Chicago Grill (ranked no. 11), through its parent Uno Restaurant Holdings, filed bankruptcy. Uno has since reemerged. [10]

Chapter 11 is a chapter of Title 11, the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most prominently used by corporate entities. In contrast, Chapter 7 governs the process of a liquidation bankruptcy, though liquidation can be done under Chapter 11 also; while Chapter 13 provides a reorganization process for the majority of private individuals.

Round Table Pizza

Round Table Pizza is a chain of pizza parlors in the western United States. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

In November 2011, Sbarro was granted court approval to emerge from bankruptcy under a plan requiring restructuring and ceding ownership to lenders; 25 sites were closed. [11] In January 2012, James J. Greco was brought in CEO of Sbarro to implement a turnaround plan as the company emerged from bankruptcy. [12] Sbarro rebranded, updating its pizza recipe, food offerings, and branding, and bringing fresh ingredients back to the forefront of the menu. [13] [14]

James J. Greco American businessman

James Joseph Greco is an American businessman and entrepreneur. Currently, he serves as the president and chief executive officer of foodservice investment firm Pilgrim Holdings. Throughout his career, he has held numerous executive positions in the foodservice industry, as well as various directorships.

Sbarro at the Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware Christiana Mall Sbarro.jpg
Sbarro at the Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware

On March 15, 2012, Sbarro announced a franchise agreement with Upper Crust Foods Pvt. Ltd. to open restaurants in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The franchisee will develop and operate the restaurants. [15] [16] The first outlet opened in Chembur, Mumbai. [17] In July 2015 Sbarro announced that they planned to expand to 50 outlets in two years, from the 17 they had then. [18]

In March 2013, Sbarro announced that J. David Karam would be the next CEO of the company. [19] In March of the following year, the company again filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Sbarro announced on June 3, 2014, that they had exited from bankruptcy protection on June 2 based on a reorganization plan as approved by the court on May 19. One hundred and eighty-two locations were closed and the company announced plans to move its headquarters from New York City to Columbus, Ohio. [20]

In January 2015, Sbarro's logo changed from a design resembling the Italian national flag, to an outline of a pizza slice in red and green, with the words "NYC.1956" to recollect the establishment's Brooklyn origins. [21]

In 2016 Sbarro had 318 locations in the U.S., less than half of 12 years earlier. [22] The decline of mall food courts and changing dietary choices among Americans are felt to be the major factors in Sbarro's regression. [23]


In October 2013, Sbarro opened the first location of their fast-casual concept called Cucinova. The restaurants feature Neapolitan-style pizzas made to order with fresh, high-end ingredients and baked in woodstone ovens in under three minutes. [24] Cucinova has multiple locations in Ohio and Texas.

In a scene from the hip-hop film Krush Groove (1985), Sbarro (portrayed as an "all you can eat buffet") falls victim to a ravenous eating frenzy by the infamous corpulent rap trio The Fat Boys. This scene and the restaurant was also the setting for The Fat Boys hit music video for their song "All You Can Eat" which is featured on the Krush Groove movie soundtrack.

Sbarro was featured in the season 2 episode "Valentine's Day" of the American television series The Office. While Michael Scott was in New York City on a business trip, he eats pizza at Sbarro, which he claims is his "favorite New York pizza joint".

In the season 7 episode "Stride of Pride" of the American television series 30 Rock , Jack Donaghy dates Pizzarina Sbarro, "the heiress to the Sbarro slice and calzone fortune."

In the season 3 episode "Rest and Ricklaxation" of the American animated television series Rick and Morty customers are seen exiting a "saladworks" restaurant and running into a "Sbarros" [sic] restaurant when 'Toxic Rick' uses an energy beam to make the whole world Toxic; later the toxicity beam is reversed and the customers return to Saladworks.

See also

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  4. Fast food chain
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