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Press Releases Press Archive Press Kit

UNO CHICAGO GRILL TAKES PIZZERIA BUSINESS FROM LIMITED TO LIMITLESS


BOSTON (October, 2007) - Credited as the creator of Chicago's Original Deep Dish Pizza® more than 60 years ago, this legendary pizzeria is now one of the hottest restaurant concepts in the country. With same-store sales generating positive growth over the last seven quarters - a timeframe in which most casual dining restaurants have seen decreased same-store sales - Uno Chicago Grill® has revitalized its brand by embracing the details.

"Our brand was created in the heart of this country at a time when honest and genuine hospitality was revered," said Frank Guidara, chief executive officer and president of Uno Chicago Grill. "We believe this foundation is still relevant today and are focused on being the best in every aspect of our business. There are no short-cuts here. At Uno®, we prefer 'long-cuts.' We are dedicated to providing our guests a 'casual-plus' dining experience."

This "best in class" mantra is taking Uno's® hand-crafted and hands-on brand from its rich heritage into an equally exciting new millennium. It's a philosophy that reverberates through the halls of Uno Chicago Grill and in the kitchens and dining rooms of its 200-plus restaurants. And, it touches every employee of the brand as it relates to food, nutritional transparency, development and hospitality.

Great Taste … Better For You

Beginning on October 23, Uno Chicago Grill's deep menu will feature zero grams artificial trans fat. "Our menu serves as a point of differentiation and pride for the brand with choices that will please any palate or diet," said Guidara.

"It's all about choices," said Chris Gatto, executive chef and vice president of food and beverage. "If our customers are looking for something healthy like a soup, salad, chicken or fish entree, they have a plenty of options; or, if they want pizza with less fat and calories, our flatbread recipe is great."

The product development team, led by Guidara and Gatto and the company's Nutrition Advisory Board, reinvigorates its menu several times a year, always focused on the needs and wants of different palates, diets, cravings and health considerations. Today's menu has approximately 20 gluten-free options and includes more than 100 meal choices.

In addition, the company is placing more importance than ever on premium ingredients. Uno Chicago Grill now serves its guests Certified Angus Beef®, aged Cabot® cheddar cheese, and a new flavorful sauce infused with Samuel Adams Boston Lager®. The restaurant's drink menu has also seen significant changes in the past two years. Uno's wine menu was selected by Corporate Beverage Manager Marc Sachs, a 30-year wine industry veteran, to include wines, both national and international, of outstanding quality and value. The drink menu also features artisan selections such as Harney & Sons organic teas, sustainable and environmentally friendly Tarrazu Estate Blend coffee and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Nutritional Transparency

In addition to showcasing great food and drink options to meet the needs of a variety of "foodies," Uno Chicago Grill is a casual dining leader in nutrition. Since 2005, the company has invested more than $2 million in nutritional advancements. Uno Chicago Grill is the only casual dining company to provide Nutrition Information Centers in restaurant lobbies.

"Customers can review ingredients, fat and sodium content, calories, fiber, gluten-free options and more, using our nutrition kiosks in our restaurant lobbies," said Rick Hendrie, senior vice president of marketing for Uno Chicago Grill. "We are proactively offering this information - addressing any food, nutritional, health or allergen concerns - helping build confidence."

Development

Uno Chicago Grill has opened nine restaurants in 2007 with two more scheduled to open later this year, including a Swampscott location in Boston's backyard (the 36th Uno Chicago Grill in the region). This location will feature the latest evolution of the "Uno-Plus" experience with the restaurant design including exposed kitchens, an expanded lounge and original Chicago detailing. The team has also invested in the details down to the material used for the walls (offering heavy insulation to reduce energy), lighting and finishes.

Not only are Uno buildings getting facelifts across the country, the company's dedication to Uno-Plus is also enhancing hospitality standards thanks to new, rigorous hiring and training processes.

Hospitality

While Uno is a large organization with more than 200 restaurants across the United States, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras and Saudi Arabia, its hospitality focus is as genuine as it was in 1943 when the brand was born.

"We are mindful of providing a special Uno experience for each of our guests," said Guidara. "And, they notice. Time and again, we hear that our guests are treated like family. Through our Hospitality Center, which sits right outside my office, Uno Chicago Grill is the only casual dining restaurant company its size to personally respond to every guest inquiry, suggestion, story or complaint."

No longer just a pizzeria, this American original has gone from limited to limitless. "We're having a great time mixing things up and challenging ourselves to think differently," said Guidara.


More about Uno Chicago Grill
Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service units located in 30 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras and Saudi Arabia. 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 www.unos.com.

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