Uno Express® Boasts 160 New Locations and Counting
Quick-Serve Concept Shows Strong Growth Despite Lagging Economy
BOSTON, MA (November 9, 2009) - Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp. has announced the opening of more than 160 new Uno Express® locations in sports arenas, airports, tourism centers, universities and other locations within the past 15 months. The new quick-serve concept provides a flexible menu at a low cost of entry, opening new opportunities to provide UNO's® signature menu to guests on the go.
The company that invented deep-dish pizza initially tested the concept in 2008 at two BJ's Wholesale Clubs in Massachusetts. It quickly took flight and grew more rapidly than originally anticipated. "We are now averaging one new UNO Express launch per week," notes Jamie Strobino, senior vice president, new concept development, UNO.
Uno Express is a third brand iteration that works as a quick-service pizza vehicle in tandem with Uno Chicago Grill®, the company's 'crown jewel' casual-dining concept, and Uno Dué Go®, an emerging player in the fast-casual segment. It focuses almost entirely on providing UNO restaurant quality pizza in non-traditional and classic food service venues. The virtues of Uno Express are:
- Flexibility in design with low cost of entry
- The benefit of an UNO manufacturing facility, allowing the delivery of a consistent, high-quality product which results in a corresponding low-cost labor solution
- The power of the UNO brand, which supports a higher price-point and, in effect, a greater return
- Supported by a full-service restaurant company with full in-house capabilities
UNO is working with major players in the contract foodservice world to leverage a variety of new distribution channels that fit the Uno Express model. For example, Uno Express can now be found in numerous sporting venues including Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX; Tsongas Arena, Lowell, MA; and the Boston Garden, where UNO is the official pizza.
According to Strobino, "This concept has legs. We recently opened an Uno Express in the Nickelodeon Family Suites Hotel in Orlando, as well as, two additional BJ's Wholesale Clubs, the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and four 'full-blown' Uno Expresses at the TD Garden in Boston, home of both the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins."
It is succeeding in a variety of airport locations including Milwaukee, Charlotte, Chicago, San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale. Tourist destinations have also embraced the concept. UNO is now the pizza of choice at Kennedy Space Center and the South Street Seaport.
Uno Express has been extremely popular with students, and is available at several leading colleges and universities such as Rutgers, University of Rhode Island, Holy Cross, McGill and the University of New Hampshire.
"It's clear that people don't want to sacrifice taste and quality, even when they don't have a lot of time to eat," said UNO CEO Frank W. Guidara, "Uno Express lets them enjoy the quality and care that we put into our food with an added level of convenience."
"Uno Express has a brand personality that is contemporary, jazzy, and compact. It fits the lifestyle of on-the-go diners who like their food to reflect the rhythm of their life…tasty, healthy and convenient," said Richard Hendrie, senior vice president, marketing for Uno. "Uno Express will pop up in the most unusual places, offering serious taste and casual, speedy meals."
"We realize that our guests have considerable demands on their time and money," says Mr. Guidara. "It is our job to find the best ways to serve them. Uno Express is just one more way for us to do so."
Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes 175 company-owned and franchised full-service Uno Chicago Grill units located in 28 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The company also operates a fast casual concept called Uno Dué Go®, a quick serve concept called Uno Express®, and a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, schools 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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