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Since it first opened its doors as an Italian Salumeria in 1956, Sbarro has brought New York style pizza and other Italian favorites like pasta and stromboli to guests at over 600 restaurants across 23 countries.

In 1956, Carmela and Gennaro Sbarro opened the doors to their Italian salumeria in Brooklyn. Carmela “Mama” Sbarro made pizza slices for shift workers looking for a quick meal. Her slices were so popular that they soon opened a second location focused solely on pizza. Since then, Sbarro has brought the best pasta, salad, and of course the XL NY slice to 630 eateries across 28 countries. You’re welcome, world.


Sbarro’s roots go back to Naples, Italy where for Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro (who eventually became known as Mama Sbarro), the art of crafting Italian cuisine was a way of life. The couple and their three sons, Mario, Joseph and Anthony, immigrated to America in 1956 to pursue their dream of owning a successful business in the United States. That same year the Sbarro family opened their first Salumeria, an Italian grocery store, in Brooklyn, which was soon a neighborhood favorite for its exceptionally fresh food and authentic Italian fare, including homemade mozzarella, imported cheese, and delicious sausage and salami. The quality of the food was surpassed only by the Sbarro family’s passion for their guests, a people-oriented foundation that continues to translate into the highest standards of guest service today. For example, some of the mainstays of the Salumeria included Mama Sbarro giving free samples for guests to enjoy and Gennaro’s meticulous displays and merchandising which sometimes took hours to put together. Every display looked amazing and appealed to customers to stop in.

The success of the Sbarro Salumeria led to the opening of more locations throughout the New York City area, connecting the Sbarro name with the iconic city. In 1967, Sbarro opened its first mall-based restaurant in Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza Shopping Center, marking the birth of the modern Sbarro concept: delicious, fresh and authentic Italian food in an open kitchen that allowed for fast service. Since 1967, the King’s Plaza business model has been replicated over 1,000 times – helping Sbarro expand throughout the United States, and in over 30 countries across the Globe. The Sbarro family sold the business in 2007 and the company has been held by Private Equity firms ever since, including some of the world’s biggest. Our Board of Directors is comprised of many representatives from these firms and is chaired by our current CEO, David Karam, who joined the company in 2012. Under Karam’s leadership, the Sbarro brand has undertaken several key initiatives including revamping the Logo to emphasize the iconic XL Pizza Slice, renovating existing mall locations and streamlining the menu, expanding locations both domestically and internationally and adding new “Off-Mall” sites, bringing their famous pizza-centric offerings into neighborhoods with locations that feature whole pizza delivery and pickup.

Sbarro has been featured in the media including spots in The Office, The Middle and 30 Rock. In 2015, Sbarro was named as Yahoo!’s 2nd best Nationwide Pizza Chain and in 2017, Sbarro was named as Restaurant Business Magazine’s 3rd Most Craveable Pizza Chain. The company is currently based in Columbus, Ohio.

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