Sbarro Proves That Constant Innovation is Key for Success in the Restaurant Biz

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Back in April/May 2013, restaurant biz journalists were abuzz with news that mall-centric pizza chain Sbarro was launching a fast-casual prototype in Columbus, OH for testing purposes. This spinoff, dubbed Pizza Cucinova, seems to be faring well today, with two additional locations in Ohio slated to open this year. Yet Sbarro, on the other hand, has recently shut down more than 150 of its locations, all of which reside in shopping malls. (We could have told you that.)

For starters, mobile and online shopping has become its own destination, making shopping malls a bit less desirable. That, coupled with consumer food trends we have seen roll out within the past few years with a focal point on healthy, fresh and local, and you’ve got yourself a lose-lose recipe. While consumers obviously still – and will always – gravitate toward fast food, even of the unhealthy variety, there doesn’t seem to be much allure there for loyalty. What was Sbarro doing differently than other pizza joints, aside from convenience if you found yourself in the mall? When crunching the numbers, Sbarro fell to No. 125 in the Restaurant Social Media Index, according to Q4 2013 data, the lowest the brand has fallen, at least within the past year. Read More