Personally I blame myself, I have been neglecting this relationship for years and now Tucci's (our little pet name) is on her way to a slow death. Granted Chapter 11 isn't the end all be all to a business but with 59 locations from over 100 in the 1990's, the future for the company looks bleak. According to my sources, 15 locations will have closed over this past month and have another 14 locations with "unprofitable" leases they will intend to default on. In order to pay homage to my former pizza love I went back to see what was wrong with the chain I spent so many of my formative years, and I have a few recommendations:
1. One word, Guacamole.
Chipotle is CRUSHING it of late and regardless of the diarrhea bowls they have been handing out like free water cups. Hungry white collar working bees still line-up everyday to enjoy some delicious improperly handled meats.
2. Dating app discounts.
Back in high school groups of us youths would ball hard on dinners at Bertucci's. I fondly remember the look on our waitstaff's face as we walked through the door expecting a 5% tip after delivering a couple dozen diet cokes and enough free rolls to kill a small Celiac stricken child. Years later my roommates and I would organize Grouper dates, if you are unaware these were 3-on-3 dates organized by a match maker of sorts. Like a blind man playing Apples to Apples these matchmakers often failed at their job, granted within the first hour of me carrying the conversation I would more often than not verbally vomit all over my Brooks Brothers button down. Shooters shoot. These restaurants would hold reservations for Grouper and on slow nights, making a killing off cheap appetizers and 3-6 cocktails per party.
3. More appetizers involving the rolls.
Lets make things perfectly clear here, the only thing surviving at Tucci's is the rolls and pizza. Adding fancy entrees and salads isn't your bag, stick to pizza & shut up [narrated by Laura Ingraham].
4. Re-branding, kill the old logo and name.
Take a page from the banker book of re-branding, change your name and act like that whole financial collapse never happened. Bertucci's meet your cool hipster nephew Tucci's. Boom. Maybe add some blackboards on the walls, cool modern storefronts, open kitchens with tattoo'd cooks, funky shit on the walls, craft brews on tap, etc. etc.
5. One man can save you, Guy Fieri...