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?