After already filing for bankruptcy in April 2011, the pizza chain “restaurant” Sbarro, commonly found in malls, airports, interstate rest stops and train stations, and in UCF’s own Student Union, has taken another big hit to their growth as a competitive pizza restaurant when they filed for bankruptcy, forcing the chain to close over 40% of their locations across the U.S. Last month, the company announced that 155 company-owned restaurants in the U.S. were due to be closed, effective immediately after the announcement. Only 220 locations will be open nationwide, with 600 other locations owned by franchise operators that will remain open internationally. This chain can all but thrive in the shadow of other big pizza chains like Papa John’s, Domino’s or Pizza Hut.
The bankruptcy dwindled the number of Sbarro employees to 2,700, however the company is certain that the bankruptcy plan will not allow any other locations to be closed. Spokesman Jonathan Dedmon said that Sbarro has already closed weaker locations and anticipates that 80% of their debt will be erased. $20 million has also been secured in new financing, aiding the company in their fight against bankruptcy. Dedmon also stated that, “the previous closures and bankruptcy filing are part of an overall plan to invest in and grow the company for the future.”
Malls across America will start to become a bit emptier, as not only Sbarro announced the closing of different locations, but retailers such as Radio Shack announced that over 1,000 stores will be set for closing, Staples announced that 225 stores would be getting the axe. Department store giants J.C. Penney announced plans earlier this year that 33 stores would be closing, and Macy’s would close 5 stores and lay off 2,500 people in order to be more cost-effective.
If one location were to be closed, Sbarro or Qdoba should move out, in order for a Chipotle to make it’s home at the heart of campus here at UCF.