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Press Releases Press Archive Press Kit


Pizza Was Only Da' Beginning for Chicago's Dining "Pie-oneer"

CHICAGO (October 27, 2005) - Uno Chicago Grill®, creator of Chicago's Original Deep Dish Pizza®, is slicing out a new piece of the casual dining pie. By redefining its focus on food and taking a fresh approach to guest hospitality, the storied eatery originally known as Pizzeria Uno® has developed an authentic Chicago dining experience.

Championed by new chief executive officer and former Au Bon Pain leader Frank Guidara, Uno Chicago Grill has laid out a strategy that includes hosting rallies for its 13,000 employees and the unveiling of an exciting new menu.

"After months of industry benchmarking and internal development, I believe we have found the formula for delivering a real Chicago dining experience to our guests nationwide," Guidara reports. "We started by providing a level of hospitality that has, until now, been achieved only at the nation's fine dining establishments. And just as important, we developed an eclectic menu featuring a vast array of signature dishes and healthy fare."

Pleasing More than a Palate for Pizza

Uno Chicago Grill introduced a new menu nationwide this week. The restaurant's revamped bill of fare was crafted with three core objectives in mind: develop hip new tastes, build on Uno's history of artisanal fare and deliver nutritious choices.

Food with an Attitude

Regular guests experiencing Uno Chicago Grill's new menu for the first time will be excited to see a variety of creative dishes not before seen on the restaurant's regular bill of fare.

Add One - The New Uno Chicago Grill

"Overall, this menu will reflect Uno Chicago Grill's evolution from popular, yet customary, entrees to more fun, complex and flavor-focused offerings," explains Uno Chicago Grill Executive Chef Chris Gatto. "For example, the traditional grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato is being eighty-sixed in favor of a grilled chicken outstandwich with sundried tomato and Parmesan tapenade." Although there are many food changes underway, loyalists need not be concerned. A number of Uno Chicago Grill's specialties, such as its world-class Deep Dish Pizza, will remain signature dishes on the new menu.

Handcrafted Heritage

While developing its fresh menu and new cuisine choices, Uno Chicago Grill remained true to its over half-century tradition that first launched a small, proud pizzeria into a national phenomenon.

"Every dish Uno Chicago Grill prepares reflects the artisanal craftsmanship that started with our Deep Dish Pizza, and the new menu items continue this legacy," explains Gatto.

NOT Chewing the Fat

Uno Chicago Grill's Chief Nutritionist and Food Scientist, Chef Adam Sacks, is well aware of Americans' desire to see healthy food options on the menu.

According to Sacks, "This new menu was designed to offer food choices that appeal to every preference and diet. For the heath-conscious diners, we have developed new signature salads and offer healthy food choices like pastas made with multigrain penne and a new line of flatbread made with organic flour to satisfy dieters or guests looking for lower calorie alternatives to Uno's traditional Deep Dish Pizza."

Uno Chicago Grill also provides in-depth ingredient and dietary information for every menu item on its web site, and computerized Nutrition Information Centers were installed in all company-owned restaurants this September.

Something Old is New

One of Guidara's rallying points upon taking the role of Uno Chicago Grill CEO in the beginning of 2005 was an increased dedication to customer service. As an experienced restaurateur, Guidara drove past success by zeroing in on the all-but-lost art of hospitality.

Add Two - The New Uno Chicago Grill

By March Guidara had underway a series of hospitality initiatives, including a company-wide "hospitality chat" that he continues to deliver via voice mail on a weekly basis. Within five months, Uno Chicago Grill reduced guest concerns by more than 40 percent.

Uno Chicago Grill continues to target guest satisfaction and recently completed a series of employee rallies at each of its 200-plus restaurants nationwide. The rallies focused on hospitality and drove home Guidara's new message: Treat our customers like friends, and it will keep them coming back to us.

Chicagoing in the Right Direction

"Chicago is my kind of town." The familiar Frank Sinatra lyrics hold true for many across the world thanks, in part, to the Windy City's famous Midwestern hospitality and impressive mix of modern and historical downtown aesthetics.

Uno Chicago Grill has captured part of what it feels is the essence of Chicago - contemporary attitude, fervor for tradition and outstanding hospitality - to generate impressive returns at its newest locations. Ten new Uno® restaurants have opened over the past year and each one featured an enhanced Chicago theme and adhered strictly to the restaurant's new focus on customer service.

As a testament to Uno Chicago Grill's vision for the future, these locations have not only flourished, but outsell other company locations by an average of 25 percent. Based on this initial success, Guidara and his team of 13,000 Uno Chicago Grill employees are confident that their guests will be singing a new tune, "Uno Chicago Grill is my kind of restaurant."

Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp. currently has a system of more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service units. Uno Chicago Grill restaurants are located in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. The company also operates a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotel restaurants, and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and branded Uno products. For more information, visit

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