Sbarro, the world’s largest mall-focused Italian restaurant chain, successfully completed its grand roll out of new recipes and cooking methods at 10 test units around the country, resulting in initial sales increases of more than 10 percent at the locations and raising more than $28,000 to help local food banks.
With the money raised, more than 100,000 meals will be provided across the country to help fight hunger.
At the test units, Sbarro brought the taste of true Italian spirit to life by unveiling new recipes and made-to-order pasta stations, complete with sauté pans and open-flame ovens.
To highlight the food and cooking introductions, the company organized festive Grand Roll Out events at each of the locations, complete with roaming violinists, soft glowing candlelight, and checkered tablecloths to create an authentic Italian ambiance in the food courts.
In addition, Sbarro committed to donating the entire day’s proceeds at each of the 10 units to local food banks.
“By all accounts, the grand roll-out events were a huge success in bringing Sbarro’s authentic Italian heritage to life,” says CEO Jim Greco. “We received great feedback on the new recipes and gained valuable insight from an operational level. Local dignitaries, company executives, community members, and other guests all joined together to experience the new look, feel, and taste of Sbarro. The events united the communities and that is exactly what we wanted to achieve.”
Food banks that received the entire day’s proceeds include:
- Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Columbus, Ohio
- Philabundance in Philadelphia
- Feeding America San Diego in San Diego
- St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix
- Houston Food Bank in Houston
- Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh, North Carolina
- Rhode Island Community Food Bank in Providence, Rhode Island
- Feeding South Florida in West Palm Beach, Florida
- Greater Chicago Food Depository in Chicago
- Oregon Food Bank in Portland, Oregon
Throughout the remainder of 2012, Sbarro will continue to grow with 50–60 new 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.