Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Uno's Bankruptcy

Uno's Chicago Grill (formerly Pizzeria Uno) filed for bankruptcy today - sad news for an icon in the pizzeria business. The company announced a restructuring that would reduce the debt burden substantially, and hopefully, enable the firm to return to profitability in the near future.

The company's bankruptcy raises some interesting strategic questions. Some may attribute its demise to the economic recession. However, one has to question whether the firm's changing identity in past years lies at the heart of its current troubles. In past years, the company has broadened its menu quite substantially, and as a result, it ultimately chose to change its name from Pizzeria Uno to Uno's Chicago Grill. These changes spur me to ask: Did the company lose focus with these changes? Did it create confusion among its customers? Did the menu expansion cause a significant loss of efficiency? Was the company trying to be all things to all people in recent years, instead of having a laser focus on a particular target market?

1 comment:

Ron D said...

Another shockwave and fallout from our recession/depression. Noticed that Manchester,NH; Keene,NH; Salem,NH; at the Methuen,MA State line location and the Danvers,MA location are shut down. The UNO menu had improved. And in the Danvers,MA and especially the Nashua,NH locations the service upgrade was very apparent and appreciated. At least their managements were hiring the right staff. Can't say about the ones we do not visit. We do travel, a bit, as necessary and stop in at various favorites. Pizzaria UNO being one. Location and timing are essential. So Good Luck and Happy Hunting for these now displaced employees. And to the other locations and persons we do not know of yet. Lost, my job twice, so I know how it feels. But not notified as these people were. It's possible that the boos got a phone call at closing so they did not know and were dejected too. Left to hold the bag and take the blame. Folks, they lost too. A company can have a heart and common sense in these matters or not. Apparently, they chose to, or their policy is to not. Saw it happen before to friends. It will happen again in the same way.