The Old Spaghetti Factory
The Old Spaghetti Factory is an Italian-style chain restaurant in the United States and Canada. The U.S. restaurants are owned by OSF International, based in Portland, Oregon, while the Canadian restaurants are owned by The Old Spaghetti Factory Canada Ltd. In 2003, the U.S. company alone had 45 restaurants, in 14 states and Japan, and sales of $105 million. The U.S. firm also operated an Old Spaghetti Factory in Hamburg, Germany, from 1983 to 1993, but that was its only European location.
As of 1993, the U.S. chain had 30 restaurants in the United States and nine in Japan. The number of U.S. locations has since grown to 42, in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. The Old Spaghetti Factory (OSF) Japan locations were in Nagoya (closed 2013), Kobe and Kawagoe, Saitama (closed 2009).
The chain was founded in Portland, Oregon, on January 10, 1969, by Guss Dussin. OSF International is the corporate name of the original, Portland-based company, which had 4,200 employees as of January 1994, in the U.S. and Japan. The Canadian locations are owned by a separate company, the Old Spaghetti Factory Canada Ltd., based in Vancouver. The U.S. company had $72 million in sales in 1993, and an estimated $90 million in 1998.
In 1983, the U.S. company opened one Old Spaghetti Factory in Europe, specifically in Hamburg, Germany, which was its 20th location. The Hamburg restaurant was closed 10 years later, having been the chain's only European branch. The company cited high labor costs in Germany as the reason that its sole European location was not sufficiently profitable.
By 2003, the U.S. company had 45 restaurants, in 14 states and Japan, and its sales in 2003 totalled $105 million. It had 3,500 employees at that time. In a 2004 article, The Oregonian newspaper wrote that, "The key to the Old Spaghetti Factory's success has always been full-service meals at fast-food prices, served in large restaurants with intimate spaces created by Tiffany lamps, refurbished trolley cars and lots of gleaming brass." However, the article reported that the chain had recently recorded its first-ever same-store decline in sales as increasingly diet-conscious Americans were cutting back generally on their pasta intake. In response to that trend, OSF began adding some low-carb options to its menu, but was not planning major changes.
Many of the chain's restaurants are located inside renovated warehouses and historic locations. The restaurant decor traditionally features antiques, including chandeliers, brass headboards and footboards as bench backs for booths. Each restaurant's most prominent feature is a streetcar in the middle of the restaurant with seating inside.
The original OSF was decorated by Dussin's wife, Sally. She worked to fill the space with garage sale finds and anything she could get her hands on that had a modest price tag. Sally still oversees the decor that goes into each and every location, however her budget has expanded somewhat – the restaurant spends up to $1 million on the decor for each restaurant but stays true to utilizing antiques and pieces with history and a story to tell.
- Brinckman, Jonathan (January 29, 2004). "Inside Oregon business, a weekly look at businesses' strategic decisions: Plateful of new recipes". The Oregonian, p. D1.
- Richard, Martin (April 18, 1994). "The European challenge: US chains brave tough obstacles". Nation's Restaurant News.
- Hamburg, Ken (January 9, 1994). "Using his noodle: By sticking to the basics, Guss Dussin gives the Old Spaghetti Factory an international reach". The Sunday Oregonian. p. P1.
- "Old Spaghetti Factory International Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "Corporate Inquires". The Old Spaghetti Factory Canada Ltd. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- Kelly, Leslie (November 1, 1996). "Old Spaghetti Factory As Popular As Ever". The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington). Retrieved December 9, 2013.
- "Ceremony surprise" (October 6, 1983). The Oregonian, p. F11.
- "History". Retrieved 2008-03-19.
- "The Old Spaghetti Factory". Nashville on the Move. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
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