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Sbarro, LLC
Founded1956; 67 years ago (1956)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
FoundersGennaro Sbarro
Carmela Sbarro
HeadquartersColumbus, Ohio, U.S.
Number of locations
Key people
Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro (founders)
J. David Karam (CEO and President)
ProductsItalian-American cuisine, pizza, pasta, salads
Revenue$185,000,000 (2021 Domestic; excl. Canada) Edit this at Wikidata

Sbarro, LLC is an American 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 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. However, diners and critics have criticized the quality of the food,[2][3][4] with some suggesting a link between food quality and the company's two bankruptcies.[5] Sbarro has over 600 locations in 28 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.


20th century[edit]

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.

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 one of two which were both located original World Trade Center, with the busiest being located the mall underneath the complex, while the other was located at the observation deck on the South Tower.[7] However, both outlets were destroyed in the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Filipino Sbarro Restaurant in a Foodcourt

The first Sbarro in the Philippines was opened in 1990. As of 2023, the nation currently has 56 stores.[8]

21st century[edit]

In early 2007, Sbarro was acquired by MidOcean Partners, a private equity firm with offices in New York and London.[9]

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 4, 2011.[10][11] At the time it was ranked by Pizza Today as the country's fifth-largest pizza chain.[12] 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 emerged.[12]

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.[13] In January 2012, James J. Greco was brought in as CEO of Sbarro to implement a turnaround plan as the company emerged from bankruptcy.[14] Sbarro rebranded, updating its pizza recipe, food offerings, and branding, and bringing fresh ingredients back to the forefront of the menu.[15][16]

Sbarro (with new logo) 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 franchise will develop and operate the restaurants.[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]

Entering the UK market[edit]

On November 5, 2020, Sbarro announced it had agreed a partnership with the EG Group, a UK based retail group, to enter the UK market - with the first store opening in EG’s Armada location in Birmingham, West Midlands.[24][25][disputed ] As of June 22, 2022, Sbarro has 15 stores in the UK, 7 of which are located within the North West of England. It plans to expand its locations throughout 2022.[26]

Response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine[edit]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sbarro Pizza refused to join the international community's withdrawal from the Russian market. Research from Yale University that covered how companies were reacting to Russia's invasion, identified Sbarro in the worst category of "Digging In", meaning "Defying Demands for Exit: companies defying demands for exit/reduction of activities". They received the lowest possible grade for continuing business as usual.[27]


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.[28] Cucinova had multiple locations in Ohio and Texas before closing in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2011 non-U.S. system wide sales Retrieved July 11. 2015
  2. ^ "11 Worst Fast Food Restaurants in America". The Fiscal Times. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "The state of Sbarro: America's least essential restaurant". Slate Magazine. May 4, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Fast food chain
  5. ^ Sbarro is in bankruptcy
  6. ^ "About Sbarro - Get the Story Behind the Slice". Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  7. ^ McDowell, Edwin (April 11, 1997). "At Trade Center Deck, Views Are Lofty, as Are the Prices". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  8. ^ "Sbarro". Retrieved January 21, 2023.
  9. ^ "History". Sbarro, Inc. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007.
  10. ^ "Sbarro Chapter 11 Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  11. ^ Kary, Tiffany (April 4, 2011). "Sbarro, Mall Restaurant Chain, Seeks Bankruptcy Protection". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Karp, Gregory (April 10, 2011). "Pizza restaurants feeling bite from consumer options". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ Stych, Ed (November 18, 2011), "Sbarro pizza gets court approval to exit bankruptcy", Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, retrieved December 21, 2011
  14. ^ "James Greco, former Bruegger's CEO, joins Sbarro". January 31, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  15. ^ "Sbarro Restaurant Company Fights Back From Bankruptcy - QSR magazine". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  16. ^ Strom, Stephanie (October 9, 2012). "New Sbarro Pizza Recipe to Drive Chain's Turnaround Plans". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  17. ^ "Restaurant Review: Panki, Sbarro". March 23, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  18. ^ "Pizza Chain Sbarro to Raise Store Count to 50 in 2 Years - NDTV Food". Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  19. ^ <Eaton, Dan (May 3, 2013) "Wendy’s experience helping guide new Sbarro CEO David Karam" Columbus Biz Insider
  20. ^ "Sbarro says it exited bankruptcy protection". Yahoo Finance. June 4, 2014. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  21. ^ "Sbarro joins fast-casual pizza race". Archived from the original on March 22, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  22. ^ "Is There Life After the Mall for Sbarro?". Eater. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "DEATH OF THE FOOD COURT: Iconic mall chains like Cinnabon, Sbarro, and Panda Express are transforming to survive". Business Insider. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  24. ^ "Sbarro enters UK market with EG Group partnership". Sbarro. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  25. ^ "US pizzeria chain Sbarro enters the UK market". The Caterer. November 6, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  26. ^ "Pizza chain Sbarro plans to open 100 restaurants in 2022". Verdict Food Service. March 25, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  27. ^ "Almost 1,000 Companies Have Curtailed Operations in Russia—But Some Remain". Yale School of Management. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  28. ^ "New fast-casual pizza concept coming to Kenwood: EXCLUSIVE". Cincinnati Business Courier. October 14, 2013. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  29. ^ "This Small, Fast-Casual Pizza Chain Closed All of Its Locations". Retrieved August 2, 2021.

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