Hotel Debuts Pizzeria Uno Franchise

New Pizzeria Uno location opens inside a hotel near Chicago O'Hare airport.
pizzeria uno chicago
The franchise aims to become the preferred pizza brand within the lodging industry.

Bravo Hospitality Group has converted its hotel restaurant to a Pizzeria Uno franchise and celebrated its official grand opening August 26.

Located in Schiller Park, Ill., the soon-to-be-converted Delta, a Marriott hotel brand, serves the Rosemont and O'Hare areas. The location soft launched with Uno in the spring. Early results are promising. “We have seen revenue increases from day one," said Victor Ravago, with Bravo Hospitality Group. "We are not only seeing increased hotel guest traffic, but we are also seeing customers from the local community frequent the restaurant, which hadn’t happened previously. The well-respected Pizzeria Uno name is a draw for sure. And we proudly serve our guests with a top-notch guest experience.”

Uno Targets Hotels with Franchise Concept

On the heels of its tech transformation, Uno’s is courting hoteliers to convert their restaurants to an Uno franchise. The Schiller Park franchise opened its doors with a Pizzeria Uno mobile app, online ordering and third-party delivery integrated into the POS, explained Regina Jerome, Senior Vice President of Information Technology, and HT’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology Lifetime Achievement Award winner.   

More hotel locations are in the works. “As the first restaurant to open as part of our hotel conversion strategy, this is really our proof-of-concept and is a big moment for the Pizzeria Uno brand overall,“ said Erik Frederick, CEO of Pizzeria Uno. “Even before their official grand opening, the Bravo Hospitality Group and their hotel are already seeing nearly double the food and beverage sales that they saw pre-conversion.”

Unheard of for a hotel restaurant, the location is attracting a lot of local customers. “The model is absolutely working,” he added.  

The Power of Conversion

“A good percentage of hotels are not making money or are losing money on food and beverage,” said Frederick. “Everyone loves pizza. And they (hoteliers) know good and well how many pizzas come into their hotels. They’re losing out.”

Converting over to a known pizza brand also helps hoteliers capture lucrative alcohol sales plus off-premises orders and third-party delivery sales from local customers, Frederick added.

The 40-year veteran franchise company also provides franchisees with in-depth support in all aspects of the business, from planning to build-out, operations to supply chain, and marketing and finance.

Additionally, since hotel operators already have most of the equipment and kitchen in place, conversion costs are minimized.

“The support provided by the Pizzeria Uno franchise has been tremendous,” said Ravago. “We feel like we have a true partner in all aspects of the business, and the experience in the company is quite extraordinary. The franchise touches every aspect of the business, so we can focus on running the restaurant and the hotel. To cap it off, all of the employees have a deep passion for the Pizzeria Uno brand. We feel that same passion for providing a quality product and a superior dining experience at our restaurant.”

Since the Chicago-area hotel held its soft launch in March, two additional Pizzeria Uno hotel conversions have already opened across the country, including one outside Detroit and one in Northern Indiana. Others are in the pipeline.

To Go Concept

In other news, Uno is testing a carryout-only concept and recently opened a takeout only location in Winter Park, Florida.  Customers can order in-store or place their orders online, in the mobile app, or through third-party delivery services.   

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