How Pizzeria Uno is Optimizing Costs and Operations for its Hotel Franchisees

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The national pizza franchise offers a unique opportunity for hotels wanting to minimize costs while partnering with a legacy brand.

Pizzeria Uno, the neighborhood pizzeria franchise known worldwide as the birthplace of Chicago-style deep dish, is establishing itself as the preferred pizza brand in the lodging industry.

The franchise has celebrated several successful hotel restaurant conversions this year and has since launched a strategic plan to find additional qualified and passionate hotel operators/owners across the country. In addition to the tremendous sales upside, the initiative is a great opportunity for hotels looking to optimize their costs and operations. Since hotel operators likely already have most of the equipment and kitchen in place, conversion costs are minimized, says Erik Frederick, Pizzeria Uno CEO.

“If you are anywhere in the process of a new build, brand conversion, or simply remodeling, your hotel restaurant, the incremental cost to bring in the iconic Pizzeria Uno brand name and its franchise infrastructure is relatively small. Back-of-the-house related costs are minimized by leveraging existing infrastructure. Front of House costs are generally cosmetic that blend our design standards to fit the overall look and feel of the hotel and overarching hotel brand standards.

There are several factors that help optimize operating costs and operations when opening a Pizzeria Uno franchise in a hotel. To start, pizza has an inherently lower cost of goods than a typical full-service menu, meaning hotel operators will likely lower their overall food costs.

As a national franchisor, Pizzeria Uno brings economies of scale in purchasing, enabling franchisees to get better pricing on food items. The brand also brings many years of active experience and solid support of people, processes and technology to the table. In addition, Pizzeria Uno has an established supply chain and does all the menu planning for 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,” said Frederick. “We don’t mark up costs from our vendors nor keep rebates, and in these times, having a supply chain team and national buying power that can help in an inflationary environment is key. It’s important to note too that we operate restaurants as well. This means we are keenly tuned to keeping menu quality and costs optimized.”
From a technology standpoint, Pizzeria Uno brings food cost management products not offered by many other restaurant operators. The franchise uses a product called Crunch Time which enables them to hone in on sales and food costs.

“Because our franchisees are part of a larger system with similar menu mixes, we can benchmark them against other pizzerias and let them know whether their prices are higher or lower,” noted Fred Houston, Vice President of Franchise Operations at Pizzeria Uno.

Notably, for restaurants that do not have a full-service kitchen, Pizzeria Uno also has a frozen product through its frozen pizza division called Uno Express. Frederick additionally added that this has a very low entry cost and ease of preparation, saving hotels on labor.

Pizzeria Uno is known worldwide due to its iconic menu and authentic brand name, meaning hotel operators have a rare opportunity to become part of that legacy and sell a product everyone loves. Owners can be confident they will have all the support they need to succeed as Pizzeria Uno franchisees.

“A lot of hotel operators are hotel operators first and restaurateurs second,” said Houston. “Because we're restaurateurs with over 40 years of experience in franchising, we provide a lot of operational support that allows for scalability across multiple properties that you don't necessarily get when you're on your own, nor if you simply go with a local chef or another local restaurant.”

In addition to supply chain and food cost support, Pizzeria Uno also provides franchisees with marketing support and operational training.

For more information on investing in a Pizzeria Uno franchise, visit https://unofranchise.com/.
About UNO Pizzeria & Grill
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes approximately 80 company-owned and franchised UNO Pizzeria & Grill restaurants located in 18 states, and the District of Columbia, India, and Saudi Arabia. UNO is all about connecting people over pizza – from its famous Chicago Deep Dish, which UNO invented in 1943, to its Chicago Thin Crust, to its gluten-free and vegan pizzas. The Company also operates Uno Foods, a consumer packaged foods business that supplies supermarkets, airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, and schools, with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and UNO branded products. For more information, visit http://www.unos.com.

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