(NEW YORK) -- There's an epidemic of pizza restaurant chains succumbing to tough economic times.
Just last week, Sbarro Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Round Table Pizza Inc. and Uno Chicago Grill also filed during the past 12 months.
Together, that’s 1,700 locations nationwide with a combined $1.6 billion in sales. The factors driving their difficulties are the slow economic recovery and higher prices for ingredients like sauce, cheese and flour.
What’s more, pizza chains are also losing business to restaurants and supermarkets that now offer ready-made pies that customers can take home and bake themselves. Some warehouse clubs, for instance, sell $10 pizzas that are much bigger than what customers get for the same price in traditional pizzerias.
Some pizza chains are also losing out to their bigger competitors such as Pizza Hut Inc., Domino's Pizza Inc. and Papa John's International Inc., all of which can afford to offer coupons and discounts that the smaller guys can’t match.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio