Pizzeria Uno launches hotel restaurant conversion franchise strategy

Pizzeria Uno, a Chicago-style deep-dish pizzeria franchise, is launching a new restaurant conversion franchise opportunity for hotel owners.

This new growth strategy comes after the company converted three in-hotel restaurants in the Midwest into Pizzeria Uno locations earlier this year, all of which saw an impressive increase in their food and beverage sales from day one, it reports.

“As a franchise company, we are always looking for the best strategy for our concept,” said Erik Frederick, CEO, Pizzeria Uno. “Since opening these conversions, every one of them has seen significant sales growth. Their lowest week since converting would have been a record week for the restaurant pre-conversion. We have one location that is bringing in around 10 times the amount of volume on an average day.”

Chris Dellamarggio, head of marketing, Pizzeria Uno, notes that this rapid growth is due to four lucrative revenue streams: increased revenue from dine-in for hotel guests, take-out for hotel guests, take-out and/or delivery sales from the local community and dine-in revenue from people in the surrounding area who typically would not come to dine at a hotel restaurant. An additional benefit may be seen from the hotel gaining additional guests due the presence of a nationally known restaurant brand.

“Hotel guests are coming in and seeing a known and loved brand that they feel comfortable dining with, and that automatically increases volume and capture rate compared to the typical non-branded restaurant,” he said. “The restaurants are also bringing in locals who would normally have no reason to visit the hotel. The takeout and delivery piece has benefits from both the hotel guests ordering take out from the hotel restaurant instead of from outside the hotel, as well as orders coming in from people in the surrounding community.”

And with a global industry value of $141 billion, pizza is big business. “Everyone loves pizza,” Frederick said. “When people travel, they are more likely to get comfort food, and pizza has always been the No. 1 option, whether it’s dine-in or takeout or delivery. We have a national brand that has been known for serving amazing pizza for decades. While the heart of the Pizzeria Uno menu is our signature, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, and our Chicago-style thin crust, there’s something on our menu for every diner. From our healthful salads to some of the best chicken wings on the planet, your customers can satisfy almost any craving.”

Best of all, since hotel operators likely already have most of the equipment and kitchen in place, Frederick says conversion costs are minimized, and owners can be confident they will have all the support they need to succeed as Pizzeria Uno franchisees.

“We have an existing infrastructure that helps franchisees with the supply chain, marketing, training, technology, build out, ongoing operations—every aspect of the business,” he said. “We don’t mark up costs from our vendors and in these times, having a supply chain team and national buying power that can help in an inflationary environment is key. We are sourcing for quality and price, and pizza already has one of the lowest food costs.

This opportunity is ideal for hotel operators who want to make more from their food and beverage program, according to the company. Opportunities can apply to those who are interested in converting their current hotel restaurant to a Pizzeria Uno-branded restaurant, hotel operators that are building out new hotels and restaurants, or owners of existing hotels that are adding a restaurant for the first time. There are also opportunities for hotels that don’t have a kitchen because Pizzeria Uno provides a frozen product from their Uno Foods division.

“We are really focused on finding the right franchisees for the brand,” said Frederick. “We have a great culture here, and we are looking to partner with people who truly understand hospitality and are interested in becoming a long-lasting part of their community. The ideal franchisee will be someone with a passion for the Pizzeria Uno brand—any franchise can give you all the training guides in the world, but it is the passion that is going to make the guests feel like they are taken care of.”

Looking ahead, Frederick says interest is already growing rapidly amongst hotel owners, and the pipeline is filling up quickly as the Pizzeria Uno team aims to become the preferred pizza brand within the lodging industry. There are additional locations scheduled to open in 2022 and more in the pipeline.

“At the end of the day, hotel owners desire more sales from their F&B program,” Frederick said. “We have a great solution: bring a well-known pizza brand to the hotel. Now, the time has never been better for hotel owners to invest in a Pizzeria Uno restaurant conversion, join a brand they can be passionate about, and make more money.”