Responds to continued store closures and lower attendance trends with the launch of 540, a delivery-only concept in California and Chicago
Studio Movie Grill (“SMG”) is the first movie theater chain to launch its own virtual brand, 540 Pizza & Calzones, on Grubhub. As a full-service movie and restaurant concept, SMG was the first to offer its casual-dining menu for takeout and delivery last summer at all locations when theaters were closed due to COVID-19. That effort saved jobs, and the creation of 540 Pizza & Calzones is another opportunity for the company to keep team members employed while serving new guest options.
540 Pizza & Calzones, a division of SMG Culinary, is launching delivery this Friday, February 5 in three California area locations (Rocklin, Bakersfield, Simi Valley) and one suburban Chicago location (Wheaton, IL). Locations will initially be open for Grubhub delivery orders Thursday through Sunday 3pm-9pm.
The 540 name is inspired by the ideal oven temperature setting of 540 degrees for cooking pizzas and calzones in SMG kitchens. SMG chefs use fresh ingredients, and every pie or calzone is made fresh to order. Menu prices range from $10-$13 and include favorites like the MICHAELANGELO and the SALSICCIA alongside hearty calzones big enough to feed two. “We’re aligning 540 with the SMG brand as an affordable luxury,” said Brian Hood, SVP Operations. “540 Pizza & Calzones features a high-quality, adventurous product lineup at very reasonable prices. Pizzas have always been a top-seller for us, and we wanted to build on a guest favorite.”
Another favorite, the ITALIAN BIANCO pizza features roasted chicken, spinach, roasted garlic and onion, mozzarella, marinara, and fresh basil. The TERRACINA is topped with marinara, pepperoni, roasted red pepper, olives, roasted onion, mushrooms, mozzarella, and oregano.
“Our people are really the secret sauce behind the 540 menu; our chefs across the country worked tirelessly crafting the perfect recipes,” shared Hood. “The changing business conditions created the right opportunity for us to utilize our kitchens and allow our culinary teams to explore new menu offerings without the challenges of in-theater dining and service.”
SMG is built on an entrepreneurial spirit and a culture of hospitality. The company continues to expand ways to serve guests with and without the movies, now leveraging the learnings gained from last summer’s off-premise initiative, SMG Takeout and Delivery.
“SMG’s decision to test a virtual brand seems natural. The teams have executed well, allowing us to realize a new incremental revenue stream that has continued growth potential, “said Tonya Mangels, Head of Revenue & Marketing. “The movie industry is still challenged by lack of film releases which we can’t control. SMG is uniquely positioned to capitalize on our culinary expertise, passion for service, and commitment to innovation in our fight to survive the pandemic.”
While some theaters have returned to operations, many are still closed or operating at significantly lesser capacities due to COVID-19 and movie studio’s limited or postponed releases. The impacts are far reaching beyond financials and lower attendance, customer profiles are also shifting. Partnering with Grubhub to offer 540 Pizza & Calzones presents a significant grassroots opportunity to reach some of these trending guest segments. Based on results, plans include adding additional third-party delivery partners, new markets, and additional future virtual brands to expand other SMG menu favorites.
“Given SMG’s ample commercial kitchen facilities, culinary chefs and systems, we have the bandwidth for very high volumes,” noted Mike Dingess, Training Manager. “Our teams are poised to effectively support multiple brands as consumer response dictates.”
Beginning this Friday, February 5, customers can order 540 Pizzas and Calzones exclusively through GrubHub at the locations listed above.
About Studio Movie Grill
Conceived in 1993, Studio Movie Grill (“SMG”) modernized the traditional movie-going experience by combining first-run movies with full-service, in-theater dining. SMG has swiftly grown to 353 screens in 10 states. SMG was named to Inc. Magazine’s List of “Fastest Growing Private Companies” three years in a row, placed 11th in Box Office Magazine’s Giants of the Industry and, in 2019, 50 films put SMG in the top 10 at the Box Office with key titles grossing as high as #5 in box office receipts. For additional information, visit studiomoviegrill.com