The O’Hare-area hotel is one of three locations to convert its restaurant to a Pizzeria Uno this year as the franchise aims to become the preferred pizza brand within the lodging industry.
Boston, MA (RestaurantNews.com) Pizzeria Uno, the neighborhood pizzeria franchise known worldwide as the birthplace of Chicago-style deep dish, has set its sights on a new industry: hospitality. The brand has celebrated several successful hotel conversions this year. It has since launched a strategic plan to find additional qualified and passionate hotel owners across the country looking to revamp their food and beverage program by bringing a well-known brand into their establishment. The first of these hotel conversions to open is a Chicago-area hotel that held its soft launch earlier this year and is now gearing up for its grand opening on August 26th.
This new Pizzeria Uno location, which was previously an unbranded restaurant, is located in Schiller Park, serving the Rosemont and O’Hare areas as part of a soon-to-be-converted Delta hotel. This marks the first time Pizzeria Uno has expanded its original Chicago deep dish recipe outside its iconic Downtown location, which opened nearly 80 years ago.
“To bring the iconic Pizzeria Uno brand to our hotel has been an amazing opportunity,” said Victor Ravago, who is part of Bravo Hospitality Group which is the franchisee behind the opening. “We have seen revenue increases from day one. We are not only seeing increased hotel guest traffic, but we are also seeing customers from the local community frequent the restaurant, which hadn’t happened previously. The well-respected Pizzeria Uno name is a draw for sure. And we proudly serve our guests with a top-notch guest experience.”
With this brand recognition and beloved consumer offering in place, hotel owners like Ravago and the Bravo Hospitality Group have the opportunity to make more from their food and beverage program. Pizzeria Uno’s business model translates to five lucrative revenue streams for hotel operators: increased revenue from dine-in for hotel guests, take-out for hotel guests, take-out and/or delivery sales from the local community, dine-in revenue from people in the surrounding area who typically would not come to dine at a hotel restaurant, and the potential addition of group sales driven by an experienced group sales team and system.
“As the first restaurant to open as part of our hotel conversion strategy, this is really our proof-of-concept and is a big moment for the Pizzeria Uno brand overall,“ said Erik Frederick, CEO of Pizzeria Uno. “Even before their official grand opening, the Bravo Hospitality Group and their hotel are already seeing nearly double the food and beverage sales that they saw pre-conversion.”
But the increased business isn’t the only benefit of partnering with Pizzeria Uno. The 40-year veteran franchise company also provides franchisees with in-depth support in all aspects of the business, from planning to build-out, operations to supply chain, and marketing and finance.
Additionally, since hotel operators already have most of the equipment and kitchen in place, conversion costs are minimized, and owners can be confident they will have all the support they need to run the restaurant more efficiently than they typically would as an independent entity.
“The support provided by the Pizzeria Uno franchise has been tremendous,” said Ravago. “We feel like we have a true partner in all aspects of the business, and the experience in the company is quite extraordinary. The franchise touches every aspect of the business, so we can focus on running the restaurant and the hotel. To cap it off, all of the employees have a deep passion for the Pizzeria Uno brand. We feel that same passion for providing a quality product and a superior dining experience at our restaurant.”
Since the Chicago-area hotel held its soft launch in March, two additional Pizzeria Uno hotel conversions have already opened across the country, including one outside Detroit and one in Northern Indiana. Others are currently being built out, and even more are in the pipeline as the franchise carves out a unique avenue for expansion and franchisees like Bravo Hospitality Group benefit from connecting with an iconic restaurant brand and five new revenue streams.
“This is an exciting opportunity in the hospitality and franchise space, and we are already seeing extremely strong momentum,” said Frederick. “The pipeline is filling up fast, but we are still able to onboard new restaurants at this time. Everyone who invests in this conversion is seeing exceptional results, and it is proving to be an important part of their business. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see the Bravo Hospitality Group’s success as it further showcases that this is not only an exciting opportunity but an opportunity that works.”
Now, as pent-up demand for travel picks up following the COVID-19 pandemic and the pizza industry booms all over the country, the time has never been better for hotel operators to optimize their food and beverage program with a Pizzeria Uno restaurant conversion.
About UNO Pizzeria & Grill
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes 80 company-owned and franchised UNO Pizzeria & Grill restaurants located in 18 states and the District of Columbia, India, and Saudi Arabia. UNO is all about connecting people over pizza – from its famous Chicago Deep Dish, which UNO invented in 1943, to its Chicago Thin Crust, to its gluten-free and vegan pizzas. The Company also operates Uno Foods, a consumer packaged-foods business that supplies supermarkets, airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, and schools, with both frozen UNO branded products. For more information, visit www.unos.com.
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