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Sbarro Files Second Bankruptcy as Mall Traffic Dwindles


Sbarro LLC, the 800-restaurant U.S. pizza chain, filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years as customer traffic slowed in the shopping-mall food courts where many of its stores do business.

The company listed assets of $175.4 million and liabilities of $165.2 million in a Chapter 11 petition filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Melville, New York-based Sbarro said in a statement that it will use court protection to quickly reorganize under a plan already supported by holders of most of its debt, while also shopping around for better offers.

While Sbarro’s units have “a worldwide brand and potential for future growth, their existing capital structure is unsustainable and their operational and financial performance has fallen significantly short of expectations due to an unprecedented decline in mall traffic that continues to hamper retailers and restaurant operators,” Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Spatafora said in court papers.

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J. David Karam Named CEO of Sbarro


Sbarro announced today that current Board Chairman J. David Karam has assumed the additional duties of Chief Executive Officer.  An accomplished restaurant industry leader, Karam recently served as President of Wendy’s International, Inc. During his tenure at Wendy’s, Karam led a successful corporate turnaround, which included significant improvements in product quality, operational execution and brand profitability.  Karam replaces Jim Greco , who resigned from the company to pursue other business interests.

“Sbarro has a great heritage with a legacy of innovation and this is a company that has significant opportunity for further growth,” said Karam. “Guest service, menu development, food quality and operational excellence will remain at the core of our focus as we continue the revitalization of the Sbarro brand.”

Prior to joining the board of Sbarro in January of 2012, Karam served as President of Wendy’s from 2008 through 2011.  Following six years of traffic declines and loss of market share, under Karam’s leadership Wendy’s rose to become the second largest QSR Hamburger chain in the U.S., surpassing Burger King for the first time in Wendy’s 42 year history.

J. David Karam Named CEO of SbarroSince it first opened its doors as an Italian Salumeria in 1956, Sbarro has been a leader in driving the growth of the Italian restaurant category.  Today, Sbarro team members bring a taste of the true Italian spirit to guests every day at its more than 1,000 eateries across 40 countries.  An award-winning franchise organization, Sbarro features a menu of popular Italian food including pizza, pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, drinks and desserts.  Sbarro is headquartered in Melville, NY. For more information, visit www.sbarro.com.

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CiCi’s Pizza, Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s are America’s Favorite Pizza Chains: Study


CiCi's Pizza, Papa John's and Papa Murphy's are America's Favorite Pizza Chains: Study

CiCi’s Pizza is America’s favorite pizza chain, according to a national study of more than 7,600 consumers conducted by Market Force, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions. Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Sbarro, Pizza Hut, Godfather’s, Domino’s and Little Caesars also made it onto the list of favorites.

The study, conducted in August, was designed to uncover which pizza chains consumers like most and why they prefer one over another. Market Force first calculated the favorites based on the total number of votes, and then factored in the number of locations for each chain for a more level view of the results. Of the 12 national and regional pizza chains studied, Pizza Hut garnered the most number of total votes across the country, given that it has more than 6,000 U.S. locations. When viewed as a calculation of favorite votes per location, regional chain Cici’s Pizza took the top spot. See Graph 1.

CiCi's Pizza, Papa John's and Papa Murphy's are America's Favorite Pizza Chains: Study

Graph 1: Favorite Pizza Chains, Indexed by Door Count


Fast-casual pizza chains are broadly doing well by offering inexpensive food options to consumers who are still budget-conscious in a tepid economy. The Coppell, Texas-based CiCi’s Pizza has honed the buffet concept, distinguishing itself from big pizza delivery players by focusing more on the dine-in experience. With approximately 550 locations in 24 states, CiCi’s is growing steadily at a pace of about 25-30 new locations per year. That said, number-two ranked Papa John’s credits its industry success to focusing on quality ingredients rather than low prices. And Papa Murphy’s wins consumer accolades for food quality and taste, cleanliness, and overall value.

Preferred Pizza Chains – Sliced by Region

Market Force also analyzed the results geographically to see which pizza chains are most popular in the four regions of the country – the Northeast, Midwest, South and West.

CiCi’s came out on top across all but one region, the South, where Papa Murphy’s won over the most consumers, followed by CiCi’s. Sbarro came in second in the Northeast, Godfather’s in the West and Papa John’s in the Midwest. Papa John’s came in third across all other regions except the Midwest where Papa Murphy’s held the number three spot. Graph 2.

CiCi's Pizza, Papa John's and Papa Murphy's are America's Favorite Pizza Chains: Study

Graph 2: Favorite Pizza Chains by Region


Papa Murphy’s Voted Best for Food and Price, CiCi’s Wins for Service

Market Force also asked consumers to rank the pizza chains based on various attributes such as food quality/taste, customer service, cleanliness, atmosphere and overall value. Between them, Papa Murphy’s and CiCi’s Pizza dominated all of the categories. Papa Murphy’s rated tops for food quality/taste, cleanliness and overall value. CiCi’s Pizza received the most votes for best service and atmosphere, and Papa Murphy’s came in second in these two categories. Godfather’s, known for its old-Italian atmosphere and steadfast focus on pizza, also fared well, coming in at the top five for all attributes, including second for food quality/taste. Sbarro brought up the rear in all of the categories. See Graph 3.

CiCi's Pizza, Papa John's and Papa Murphy's are America's Favorite Pizza Chains: Study

Graph 3: Pizza Chains Ranked by Attribute


“Its no surprise that Americans love their pizza. In fact, recent data shows that pizza restaurants represent 9.5 percent of the U.S. commercial foodservice market,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “This love of pizza creates huge opportunity for chains to differentiate themselves and win a larger slice of the market, which is what we’re seeing with breakout chains like CiCi’s, Papa Murphy’s and even Little Caesars.”

Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted in August 2012 across the United States. The pool of 7,600 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with half reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 19 to over 65. Approximately one-quarter were men and 75% were women, and 73% reported working full or part time. Half of the respondents have children at home and more than two-thirds are married.

For more information on Market Force’s customer intelligence solutions for the restaurant industry, visit http://www.marketforce.com/industries/qsr-quick-serve-restaurants.

Market Force is the leading global customer intelligence solutions company for multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions, entertainment studios and consumer packaged goods companies. With more than 125 years of combined industry experience, Market Force Information has pioneered the industry with a suite of customer intelligence solutions – from 600,000 field associates across North America and Europe who conduct mystery shopping, merchandising and retail auditing, to real customer surveys and proprietary decision-support tools. Its solutions provide a holistic view of the customer’s on-site experience and identify the actions required at the store level to increase customer loyalty and improve financial performance. Market Force was named one of Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies in 2011. For more information, visit http://www.marketforce.com.

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Sbarro Returns to Its Italian Roots with New Pizza Recipe


Sbarro Returns to Its Italian Roots with New Pizza Recipe

Sbarro announced today that it is returning to its Italian roots with the introduction of a new Neapolitan-style pizza that will replace its longstanding recipe.  The new pizza, which is being introduced across Sbarro’s more than 500 U.S. locations, features all-natural ingredients, including dough made from scratch daily, vine ripened whole peeled tomatoes and freshly shredded whole milk mozzarella.

Sbarro conducted shut-downs across all U.S. locations on Sunday, October 7, to energize and train team members.  The team received enhanced training on how to prepare the new pizza as well as a re-certification in Sbarro’s heritage, values and its culture of hospitality.

“By going back to our roots, we’re improving what set us apart from the very beginning, great pizza made from quality ingredients and served in a warm and welcoming environment,” said James Greco, CEO of Sbarro.  “These values and priorities helped grow Sbarro from a single Italian Salumeria to a global restaurant company.  And now, technology has enabled us to offer pizza of the same quality as our original recipe on a national scale.”

Innovations in farming and technology have enabled Sbarro to find year-round sources for the product needed to serve the new Neapolitan-style pizza recipe across all of its locations, while ensuring consistency.

“I started working at Sbarro close to 40 years ago and I know that Mama Sbarro would be proud of our new authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. We’ve taken all of our ingredients to the next level, from our handmade dough to our vine ripened tomatoes to the mozzarella we shred daily,” said Tony Missano, President of Sbarro. “Additionally, through the shut-down and re-certification, we’ve energized our staff while shining a focus on the values that make Sbarro great.”

“Slice of Italy Tour”

Sbarro will now serve the new pizza at all of its locations in the U.S. and is slicing out free “first tastes” in cities across the country with its “Slice of Italy Tour.” Throughout the month of October, during National Pizza Month, two antique 1940′s pizza trucks will travel to 25 cities, serving thousands of Americans the new recipe.

“We’re so sure the country is going to love our new pizza that in many places, the first taste will be on us,” said Greco. “As part of Sbarro’s long standing commitment to giving back to the communities where we do business, we will also leverage the tour as a platform to support food banks throughout the country.”

At every tour stop, donations will be accepted for the free slices, and the funds raised will be given to local area food banks.

The dual-coast tour kicks off in New York City and Los Angeles with stops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, DC, Virginia Beach, Raleigh, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Irvine, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Tempe, Phoenix, Fort Worth, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.

Following the U.S. launch, the new Sbarro pizza recipe will be introduced across eateries worldwide.

For Sbarro franchise information, please visit http://sbarro.com/franchising/franchising.php.


Sbarro Returns to Its Italian Roots with New Pizza Recipe

Since it first opened its doors as an Italian Salumeria in 1956, Sbarro has been a leader in driving the growth of the Italian restaurant category.  Today, Sbarro team members bring a taste of the true Italian spirit to guests every day at its more than 1,000 eateries across 40 countries.  An award-winning franchise organization, Sbarro features a menu of popular Italian food including pizza, pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, drinks and desserts.  Sbarro is headquartered in Melville, NY.  For more information, visit www.sbarro.com.

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Sbarro Gears Up for Franchise Growth with Expanded Development Team


Sbarro, the world’s largest Italian mall-focused restaurant franchise, announced today that it has appointed two industry leaders to spearhead continued franchise growth, both domestically and overseas.

In the midst of an aggressive revitalization effort that has gotten off the ground running, Sbarro, with more than 1,000 restaurants in 40 countries, announced the hiring of Eric Taylor to a newly created role of Vice President of International Franchise Development, and has appointed Dave Gleason as Vice President of Franchise Development to lead the growth of franchisees in North America.

“We are committed to investing in the brand worldwide and see tremendous opportunity for our franchise development system in the United States and across the globe,” said James Greco, President and CEO of Sbarro. “By bringing on seasoned restaurant franchise executives such as Eric and Dave, we are laying the groundwork for our evolving brand.”

Taylor has worked in the international franchise world since 1999, starting with Franchise Development Services, based in Norwich, England.  Prior positions include Vice President of Worldwide Franchise Development for Bennigan’s Franchising Company and as a consultant for TR Global Management Group representing Applebee’s.  His international experience includes the sale of master franchises in Mexico, Europe, India, the Middle East and the Caribbean.  In his new position, Taylor will oversee, identify, and award franchises to qualified, top-tier candidates worldwide.

Gleason brings a wealth of experience to Sbarro, with more than 30 years in the QSR industry in both an operations and franchise development capacity.  He has worked with brand leaders in the industry such as Dunkin Brands, Haagen-Dazs, Manchu WOK and Jamba Juice and was responsible for the development of the brands in a traditional and nontraditional segment on a national perspective.  While working in this capacity, he identified and developed “green field” markets, introduced new design formats to enable speed to market and consistently achieved successful high performing new unit growth.

Throughout the remainder of 2012, Sbarro will continue to grow with 60 new domestic and international openings planned. In addition, the company will be introducing a new pizza recipe in the fall, and a new prototype restaurant model will be unveiled early next year.

Based in Melville, New York, Sbarro is the world’s largest Italian mall-focused restaurant franchise. Sbarro has more than 1,000 restaurants in more than 40 countries and features a menu of popular Italian food including pizza, a selection of pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts. Additional information is available at www.sbarro.com.

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CEOs of McAlister’s Deli, Firehouse Subs, Fazoli’s to speak at 7th Annual Fast Casual Executive Summit


CEOs and other leaders from the fastest-growing segment of the restaurant industry will gather at San Diego’s US Grant Hotel on Oct. 21-23 for the seventh annual Fast Casual Executive Summit, presented by FastCasual.com.

Frank Paci of McAlister’s Deli and Don Fox of Firehouse Subs are slated to participate in a “CEO Roundtable” at the close of the conference. Other CEOs on the Roundtable will be Phil Friedman of Salsaritas, J. Dean Loring of Burger Lounge and David Rutkauskas of Beautiful Brands International, the company behind Camille’s Sidewalk Café, FreshBerry, Dixie Cream Donut Co. and other restaurant chains.

Carl T. Howard, CEO of Fazoli’s, and Jim Greco, CEO of Sbarro, are also on the Summit’s agenda in a session titled, “From Turmoil to Turnaround: Lessons from the Frontlines.” In all, 12 restaurant CEOs are scheduled to be presenters or panelists.

Keynote speakers for the event include:

  • David Houle, who has been called the “emerging futurist in the world today.” Houle was part of the executive team that launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News. He has won two Emmys, a Peabody and was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Jim Sullivan, a well-known brand-builder, motivator, trend-spotter and problem-solver who has worked for and with companies as distinct as Walt Disney Company, Starbucks, Chipotle and Apple Retail.
  • Denise Lee Yohn, a brand-building expert who has worked with Jack In the Box, Jamba Juice and Elevation Burger, among others.

“This year’s Summit might very well be our best ever,” said Cherryh Butler, Editor of FastCasual.com. “The keynotes and panels will address important trends shaping the market and are going to be fantastic.”

The Summit kicks off with a tour of 13 San Diego-area fast casual restaurants, including Rubio’s, Panda Express, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Luna Grill and Daphne’s California Greek. The tour allows attendees to network while sampling the menu and experiencing the atmosphere of some of fast casual’s growing brands.

Summit attendees will also participate in a networking reception and dinner on the flight deck of the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier that is now a floating museum in the San Diego harbor.

Registration for the Fast Casual Executive Summit is now open, but is limited to qualified executives of restaurant operators. The Summit is produced by Louisville, KY-based Networld Media Group, publishers of the restaurant industry news sites, FastCasual.com, PizzaMarketplace.com and QSRweb.com.

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Sbarro Names Angela Hornsby Chief People Officer


Sbarro, the world’s largest mall-focused Italian restaurant chain, today announced the appointment of Angela Hornsby to Chief People Officer.

In her new role, Hornsby is responsible for leading all areas of the company’s human resources strategies, practices and programs including talent acquisition and management, leadership development and training, employee relations, compensation and benefits.

“In addition to product, place and positioning, a key component of our revitalization tactics is our enhanced focus on our people and culture,” said James Greco, Sbarro President & CEO. “Angela brings a wealth of valuable strategic and operational experience to our company. She will provide proven leadership for our expanding HR programs, and augment our ability to attract, hire, and retain a breadth of top talent across the company.”

Most recently, Hornsby served as Vice President of Organization Development and Effectiveness at DineEquity Inc., one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world that franchises and operates Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants. Previously, she served as Vice President of Human Resources at Applebee’s. Prior to that, Hornsby held the positions of Vice President of Human Resources and Vice President of Operations, West Division at Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Inc., a global restaurant company that owns, operates, franchises and licenses restaurants under the T.G.I. Friday’s Brand.

As part of its plan to reinvigorate the brand announced early this year, Sbarro successfully completed the testing of a new pizza recipe and made-to-order pasta stations, complete with sauté pans and open-flame ovens at 10 units around the country. In addition, the company will be introducing its new pizza recipe in the fall, and a new prototype restaurant model will be unveiled early next year.  Throughout the remainder of 2012, Sbarro will continue to grow with 60 new domestic and international openings planned.

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Sbarro Appoints New Senior Vice President of Operations


As it embarks on a major initiative to reinvigorate the brand, Sbarro, the world’s largest mall-focused Italian restaurant chain, announced today that it has appointed food industry veteran George Wooten as Senior Vice President of Operations.

Wooten will oversee all aspects of operations to ensure product and service quality and consistency as Sbarro repositions itself in the marketplace to become the preeminent fast-casual Italian brand worldwide.

“The position of Senior Vice President of Operations will be instrumental in advancing the growth of the company,” said James Greco, Sbarro President & CEO. “Given his proven track record in overseeing domestic and international restaurant and retail operations, George will be a valuable asset as we introduce new recipes, cooking equipment and a new prototype design throughout the Sbarro system.”

Most recently, Wooten served as Senior Vice President, Casual Dining for M.H. Alshaya Co., the largest retail company in the Middle East. Prior to Alshaya, Wooten held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Centerplate, one of largest hospitality companies in the world, with more than 250 North American sports, entertainment and convention venues. He also served as Senior Group Vice President at Safeway Inc. Earlier in his career, Wooten held the position of Senior Vice President of Operations for The Quiznos Master, where he was responsible for more than 5,000 Quiznos locations in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as Arby’s, Inc., where he oversaw operations of more than 300 Arby’s restaurants.

Earlier this year, Greco announced that the company would be introducing a series of operational and menu changes, beginning with 10 units throughout the United States. At the test units, including Raleigh, N.C.; Providence, RI; Columbus, OH; West Palm Beach, FL; Chicago; Happy Valley, OR; National City, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Exton, PA; and Houston, Sbarro will unveil new pizza recipes prepared on new open-flame ovens, as well as made-to-order pasta stations, complete with either sauté pans and induction cooktops or fast boilers.

Based in Melville, New York, Sbarro is the world’s largest Italian mall-focused restaurant franchise. Sbarro has more than 1,000 restaurants in more than 40 countries and features a menu of popular Italian food including pizza, a selection of pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts. Additional information is available at www.sbarro.com.

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Plans Heat Up for the Sbarro of Tomorrow


Revitalization plans for Sbarro, the world’s largest mall-focused Italian restaurant chain, have officially kicked into high gear.

Out of 1,013 Sbarro units worldwide, the iconic fast-casual chain has chosen 10 locations throughout the United States to unveil all new recipes prepared on new open-flame ovens, as well as made-to-order pasta stations, complete with either sauté pans and induction cooktops or fast boilers.

Over the course of eight days, Sbarro will host grand roll-out celebration events that will completely transform each of the selected mall food courts into a scene reminiscent of the streets of Italy. The locations include:

  • June 7:  Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, N.C. and The Mall at Tuttle Crossing in Columbus, Ohio
  • June 8:  Providence Place Mall in Providence, R.I. and The Mall at Wellington Green in West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • June 11:  Westfield Chicago Ridge Mall in Chicago, Ill.
  • June 12:  Clackamas Town Center in Happy Valley, Ore.
  • June 13:  Westfield Plaza Bonita Mall in National City, Calif.
  • June 14:  Arrowhead Towne Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
  • June 15:  Exton Square Mall in Exton, Pa. and Willowbrook Mall in Houston, Texas

“These select locations are the public’s first taste of the future of Sbarro,” said CEO James Greco, who added that a new prototype model will be unveiled later this year. “We are making significant strides with our product, culture, and positioning. The accomplishment of these initiatives is a large step toward realizing our vision of being the preeminent fast-casual Italian brand worldwide.”

At the events, the mall food court seating areas will be dressed with red and white checkered tablecloths and soft glowing candlelight, accompanied by professional violinists to serenade guests with classic Italian music as guests experience the new tastes and flavors of Sbarro’s Italian heritage.

Adding to the festivities, at each location Sbarro will raffle off a Vespa Scooter and 100 guests will receive a Sbarro gift card for a free NY or Pan Pizza Slice, or Pasta Dish every week for two months. Additionally, each of the Sbarro locations will donate their entire day’s proceeds to a local food bank to aid the fight against hunger. All proceeds from the raffle will also be donated to the local food banks.

Based in Melville, New York, Sbarro is the world’s largest Italian mall-focused restaurant franchise. Sbarro has more than 1,000 restaurants in more than 40 countries and features a menu of popular Italian food including pizza, a selection of pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts. Additional information is available at www.sbarro.com.

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Sbarro Inks Agreement with Upper Crust Foods Pvt. Ltd. to Expand Footprint in India


Sbarro, the nation’s leading quick-service Italian Restaurant Company, today announced a franchise agreement to open 15 restaurants in the state of Maharashtra. Upper Crust Foods Pvt. Ltd. will develop and operate the restaurants with the first unit to open in Mumbai this month.

Over the past six years, Sbarro has announced international agreements with leading franchisees to open restaurants spanning across the globe, including locations in Europe, Russia, Asia, India, the Middle East, South and Central America and Caribbean. The grand opening marks the first Sbarro to open in Mumbai, a fast developing market that is home to an increasing number of metropolitan areas, malls and entertainment centers.

“We could not be more pleased to partner with Rashmi and Manoj Balwani to expand Sbarro’s presence in India.  Now is a time of tremendous growth and opportunity in the region and Rashmi and Manoj bring deep expertise in India’s burgeoning QSR sector and a proven track record,” said Jim Greco, president and CEO of Sbarro.  “Over the past six years, Sbarro has significantly increased its international footprint, a credit to the depth and breadth of expertise of our International team and our focus on serving as a true partner to our franchisees.”

While the new restaurants’ menu will be created from over 200 Sbarro recipes that consumers enjoy Worldwide, certain adjustments will be made to suit the cultural and religious customs of India.

Speaking on the occasion of the impending launch, Ms. Rashmi Balwani, MD of Upper Crust Foods Pvt. Ltd., said, “It is a moment of great pride for me to be opening the first outlet of my favorite Italian food chain in Mumbai. I used to be a regular at Sbarro during my days in New York, and being their master franchisee for Maharashtra is a  wonderful feeling. I am sure that with the quality of the cooking and the ingredients,  Sbarro’s first outlet in Chembur neighborhood will become a favorite among the people living in and around these areas, including Navi Mumbai. I also look forward to expanding the franchise, both in Mumbai and then in other parts of Maharashtra.”

Based in Melville, New York, Sbarro is the world’s leading Italian quick service restaurant concept and largest shopping mall-focused restaurant concept in the world. Sbarro has more than 1,000 restaurants in more than 40 countries, and features a menu of popular Italian food, including pizza, a selection of pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts. Additional information is available at http://www.sbarro.com.

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Sbarro Names Dynamic, New Management Team to Lead Company’s Growth Initiative


The Board of Directors of Sbarro, Inc., a leading Italian quick service restaurant company, today announced that James Greco, 54, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Greco was the former CEO of Bruegger’s Enterprises and credited by industry experts with the strong performance and growth of the 28-year-old national bagel bakery chain. Nicky McGrane, who has been serving as Sbarro’s interim President and CEO will be leaving the Company to pursue other opportunities.

In addition, J. David Karam, 53, formerly President of Wendy’s International, has agreed to serve as Sbarro’s new Chairman, and the Company has appointed two additional directors to its board, Desmond Hague, CEO of Centerplate, and David Wiggins, a turnaround expert. Karam takes over as Chairman from Michael Feder, a Managing Director at Alix Partners, a leading management consulting firm, who has served as Sbarro’s Interim Chairman since November 2011. Feder will continue as an advisor to the company.

“We’re extremely pleased to have attracted a top-tier talent like Jim to Sbarro,” Karam said on behalf of the Board. “Jim has outstanding credentials and will provide strong leadership as the company continues to grow. At the same time, we want to recognize the contributions that Nicky made as interim CEO. His stewardship during a difficult time for Sbarro was immensely valuable.”

McGrane led Sbarro through a successful Chapter 11 reorganization, with Sbarro emerging with significantly less debt and substantial liquidity to invest in future growth.

Greco, who partnered with Sun Capital to acquire Bruegger’s in 2003, served as CEO until the company was acquired by Groupe Le Duff SA, a leading French operator of bakery-cafes, in 2011. Sun Capital earned a return of 36% per year on its investment in Bruegger’s. While CEO, Greco successfully turned around the business, produced more than 20 consecutive quarters of positive same store sales and total sales growth, and completed numerous smaller acquisitions including the successful acquisition of Timothy’s World Coffee’s retail brands. In 2009, he was named Operator of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News, one of the industry’s highest honors. Prior to Bruegger’s Bagels, Greco was CEO of Fieldbrook Foods Corporation for seven years, and he also served as Chief Operating Officer of Natural Country Farms for five years. Greco has a degree in Economics from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Miami.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to lead and grow Sbarro,” Greco said. “As the company’s recent performance demonstrates, this is an iconic brand with a strong foundation upon which we can build.”

Karam was most recently the President of Wendy’s International. During his tenure at Wendy’s, Karam led a successful turnaround of Wendy’s, which included significant improvements in product quality, operational execution and brand profitability. Under his leadership, Wendy’s rose to become the second largest QSR Hamburger chain in the U.S., surpassing Burger King for the first time in Wendy’s 42 year history. Prior to joining Wendy’s in 2008, Karam was President of Cedar Enterprises, a Wendy’s franchisee, operating 150 Wendy’s restaurants in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Hartford and Seattle.

While a franchise owner, Karam was recognized with the R. David Thomas Founders Award and the Diamond Award National Marketer of the Year. He was also recently inducted into Wendy’s Hall of Fame. Karam has a degree in accounting from Ohio State University and is a graduate of the Owner President Management program at Harvard Business School.

Hague is President and CEO of Centerplate, North America’s largest hospitality business, which operates in more than 40 states within convention centers, and the sports and entertainment industries. Prior to Centerplate, Hague was President of IHOP and a member of Dine Equity (NYSE: DIN), the world’s largest casual dining restaurant operator.

Wiggins has extensive turnaround management expertise, having worked as an Operating Advisor for a number of portfolio companies acquired by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. since 1998. In this capacity, Wiggins served as Chairman and CEO of Hain Pure Protein Corporation, President and CEO of Halo Purely for Pets, and Chairman and CEO of Salerno Plastics Corporation.

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Sbarro Emerges from Chapter 11


Sbarro’s Plan of Reorganization has become effective and the Company has successfully emerged from Chapter 11 with significantly reduced debt and a new $35 million capital infusion.

“As Sbarro emerges from Chapter 11 today we are a stronger, better capitalized, and more competitive company with a solid financial foundation for future growth,” said Nicholas McGrane, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Sbarro. “Our reorganization plan eliminates more than 70 percent of our debt, and provides access to $35 million in fresh capital from our new ownership group.”

Mr. McGrane added, “With the support of our investors, vendors and landlords, and the hard work of our valued employees and franchisees, we are pleased that Sbarro has successfully navigated this process in a relatively short time period while operating our business as usual and without interruption. Our business is performing well, and as we enter our busiest period of the year, we look forward to building on our positive momentum and continuing to deliver great food and service to our customers.”

Based in Melville, New York, operates more than 1,000 restaurants in more than 40 countries. Sbarro restaurants feature a menu of popular Italian food, including pizza, a selection of pasta dishes and other hot and cold Italian entrees, salads, sandwiches, drinks and desserts.

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