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HomePizzaPizzeria Uno's lodge conversion program brings in lodge friends, localsPizza Market

Pizzeria Uno’s lodge conversion program brings in lodge friends, localsPizza Market

Chicago-based Pizzeria Uno has begun a lodge conversion program that brings in each lodge friends and locals. It provides Uno extra recognition and brings that robust branding to inns. Three models are open up to now.

| by Mandy Wolf Detwiler — Managing Editor, Networld Media Group

This yr, Pizzeria Uno created a restaurant conversion technique wherein the model turns current eating places in inns into pizzerias. The result’s two-fold: Uno provides one other restaurant to their depend and will get the title recognition, and inns get a widely known restaurant with signature pizzas that brings in additional than lodge friends. It brings in locals as nicely.

To this point, three lodge eating places have been transformed to Pizzeria Unos, in Schiller Park, Illinois, Indiana Dunes, Indiana, and Farmington Hills, Michigan. Every one has seen a 100% to 200% enhance in pre-conversion gross sales.

The model expects to have 10 extra open or beneath settlement by the tip of the yr. In all, Pizzeria Uno at the moment sits at 80 eating places, with 32 of these being company owned.

Pizza Market talked to Eric Frederick, CEO of Pizzeria Uno, and Chris Dellamarggio, head of promoting for the Chicago-based model, in a cellphone interview to be taught extra concerning the lodge conversion program and what Pizzeria Uno is bringing to the desk in inns.

Q. What is the impetus behind the brand new restaurant conversion program?

Frederick: We wished to develop. The corporate hasn’t added a brand new home franchisee in over 10 years. Finally, one of the best technique includes fixing an issue for any individual else and doing one thing a bit of bit totally different than what the remainder is. We began to look and stated: “The excellent news is that everyone loves pizza. The unhealthy information is that just about everybody has a pizza place they go to. … We began to consider inns. They’re in hospitality. And if you concentrate on a lodge, they watch all these takeout pizzas come throughout their door. Somebody has a lacrosse event they usually deliver all their children there they usually’re getting a ton of pizza from any individual else. Now (the inns) get the income. As a result of Pizzeria Uno is a full-service restaurant, they have a full-service menu. It isn’t simply pizza. Lots of people know us for deep-dish however we have got skinny crust and Detroit-style, too. We promote rooster, fish, steak, superb pasta dishes and appetizers, so we slot in nicely with their clientele.


With Doordash and GrubHub, we have got a nationwide model, so we go up on these and now persons are getting takeout and supply (from lodge conversion eating places). With the primary three that (had been constructed), we had been pleasantly stunned — we had been getting lots of people from the local people coming in to eat. It is actually only a phenomenal income enhance.

Q. Why inns? What do they create to the pizza market in a phase that is not at the moment crammed?

Dellamarggio: For inns that wish to convert (their eating places), it is a number of income streams that they did not have beforehand.

Frederick: I might have a look at it as what do inns deliver to their friends. It is a actually well-known pizza model. If you’d like pizza and also you’re out on the highway, you take a suggestion possibly from the individual on the entrance desk. Even then you definitely is perhaps in the course of nowhere. They’re bringing their friends not simply nice pizza however frankly our complete menu, which is extraordinarily robust. … You are giving your area people a unique choice, and an excellent choice, for pizza.

Q. Pizzeria Uno is a nationwide model with places everywhere in the nation. How does this lodge conversion program strengthen the model’s client consciousness?

Frederick: With this, what’s nice for us is we have got lots of white area as a result of we have got 80 eating places. Now, we’re predominantly up and down the East Coast, in addition to our Orlando eating places and clearly downtown Chicago … with that stated, folks everywhere in the nation appear to know who we’re due to our heritage.

Q. What sort of lodge areas are you searching for?

Frederick: Ideally, what we’re searching for is it is bought to be a lodge with a full-service restaurant, to allow them to provide your entire menu in addition to make the pizza. Our candy spot is inns which are going beneath some kind of a refresh or conversion, though it would not should be that method. If you concentrate on it, the conversion prices are pretty minimal. They’re utilizing our coloration scheme, however they’ve already bought their kitchen tools already set. … We’re not a lot centered on the the place as we’re centered on the who. As a result of we’re a small model and we’re rising, we’re frankly solely taking people who find themselves very keen about Uno they usually’re very keen about hospitality.

Another excuse why we’re pursuing hoteliers is though they’re hoteliers first and restaurateurs second, they basically get hospitality. The excellent news for us is which you can have a look at a lodge’s scores, you possibly can go to them and see how they deal with their friends, and in the event that they’re doing that proper they’re most likely going to serve our meals proper as nicely. … Having good meals will solely get you up to now on this enterprise. Having the visitor half is equally essential.


Q. What are a number of the profitable income streams that come out of this restaurant conversion program?

Dellamarggio: If they’ve a earlier restaurant at their lodge that’s kind of a generic themed restaurant, they’re just about solely going to see visitors from of us which are on the lodge they usually do not have an choice to exit. They go down and sit on the restaurant. Whenever you deliver within the Pizzeria Uno title, you usher in an entire new set of friends. So for instance, you are going to have your lodge friends coming in and now they’ve a trusted model title that they will dine with. They will not be searching for alternate options to exit of the lodge and eat.

You are additionally going to have a takeout pizza enterprise throughout the lodge you would not have had earlier than. Individuals are going to be ordering pizza and it is going to be coming within the entrance door and as much as their rooms. Now you will have an opportunity to seize that pizza takeout enterprise, however from throughout the lodge.

You are additionally going to get the neighborhood supply enterprise which goes to be working lots of occasions by way of the third-party supply apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub. Now you will have the model title of Pizzeria Uno on these platforms and individuals who stay within the native neighborhoods and communities are going to have the ability to order by way of third events and get deep-dish pizza or our common pizza and now our Detroit-style pizza, doubtlessly.

On prime of that, which has been a extremely massive a part of what we have seen with the couple conversions we have had already, is we’re getting of us from the local people eating in on the restaurant the place they might by no means even take into consideration getting into to their native lodge restaurant on a Friday evening. Now we have turn out to be a vacation spot for them to go and dine out.

Moreover, we now have a longtime group gross sales program by way of Uno the place we work with tour teams who’re touring across the nation and we’re tapped in to these. They’re searching for dinner choices, so we’ll usher in busloads of parents.

Mandy Wolf Detwiler is the managing editor at Networld Media Group and the location editor for and She has greater than 20 years’ expertise overlaying meals, folks and locations.
An award-winning print journalist, Mandy brings greater than 20 years’ expertise to Networld Media Group. She has spent almost 20 years overlaying the pizza business, from unbiased pizzerias to multi-unit chains and each measurement enterprise in between. Mandy has been featured on the Meals Community and has received quite a few awards for her protection of the restaurant business. She has an insatiable urge for food for studying, and might let you know the place to seek out one of the best slices within the nation after spending 15 years touring and consuming pizza for a dwelling. 



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