Uno Restaurant LLC has sold eight company-owned Uno Pizzeria & Grill units in the first stage of a broader refranchising initiative, the company said Wednesday.
Boston-based Uno said it sold the eight casual-dining units in Maryland and Virginia to MV Pizza LLC and plans at least one more refranchising deal before year’s end. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MV Pizza is an affiliate of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Bastian Restaurant Group LLC, owned by Amir Yazdi, a multi-unit restaurant franchise operator.
Louie Psallidas, UNO president and CEO, said the company also will debut a new prototype called “Uno Next.”
“The Uno Next design, created in partnership with Synergy Restaurant Consultants, brings forward the rich and authentic history of the Uno brand and combines it with a new contemporary design featuring an open display kitchen, a large bar and community tables designed for groups and socializing, a dedicated area for takeout and a significant technology component,” Psallidas said.
Uno plans to open a company-owned Uno Next unit in 2019.
UNO said it is planning to close later this month on a second refranchising transaction with a franchise group that operates more than 160 restaurants across two brands in 14 states. Those restaurants will involve restaurants in several Northeast markets, the company said.
Upon the closing of the second re-franchising transaction, a spokesperson said UNO will have 38 company-owned and 54 domestic and eight international franchised restaurants. The company-owned restaurants are primarily based in New England, Florida and Chicago.
The Cypress Group of Denver advised UNO in the refranchising deals.
Uno ranked No. 155 in U.S. systemwide sales in the most recent Nation’s Restaurant News Top 200, booking $245.8 million in the fiscal year ended in September 2017.
Uno’s 100 restaurants cover 22 states, the District of Columbia, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The company also operates Uno Dué Go, a fast-casual concept and Uno Foods, a consumer-packaged foods business.
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