Danny and Rita Yasser, owners of the legendary New York City pizzeria Vinny’s Pizza, have been forced to turn to online advertising to fund their business.
On Wednesday, Danny Yasser announced that he was turning over his Vinny Schnitzel and other franchises to a private company.
“We’re not really sure where to go with this, but we’re going to make a decision that we’ll probably take a year to figure out what we want to do,” Yasser said.
The announcement came after Vinny owners were told they would have to pay $10,000 a year for their franchises, a figure that doubled with the closure of the New York pizzeria in 2014.
Yasser said the business would be able to take a small cut in the rent for the time it was closed.
The Yasser’s, which was founded in 1927, opened in 1972 in the historic Meatpacking District, across from Times Square.
“We’re trying to figure something out that will allow us to continue to be successful,” Yasher said.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get the franchise business going again.”
Yasser, who lives in Brooklyn, said he has been a franchisor for over 20 years, with restaurants in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
The last Vinny Pizza was closed in 2018.
“It’s a very bittersweet moment,” Yisher said.
“I’ve had two great opportunities, one in New York and one in Staten Island, but the second opportunity came to a screeching halt in New Jersey.”
Danny Yasser and Rita Osterman, owners, Vinny, are closing their Brooklyn pizzeria after years of struggle with landlord, according to a letter signed by Vinny owner Danny Yason.
Yasons letter to Vinny franchisee Danny Yasher says, in part, the company is now unable to provide the necessary financial support for Vinny for the foreseeable future.
“Our financial situation has been severely impacted,” the letter reads.
“There has been no increase in revenue or profits for the last year, and we are in the process of preparing for bankruptcy.”
A spokesperson for the New Jersey state attorney general’s office said that the letter did not state whether the Yassers were seeking bankruptcy.
A statement from the Yakers said they were working with the New Yorker’s attorney general, which would determine whether to file a lawsuit.
“The Yakers and their family have always treated every customer with respect, and this has been the exception,” the statement read.
“Their restaurants have always been known for providing a positive experience for their guests, and they are proud to be a part of this iconic New York restaurant tradition.”
The Yavers’ statement was signed by Yasser as well as his son, Danny.
In a separate statement, Yasser also thanked Vinny customers for their support.
“The people of New Jersey know that Vinny is synonymous with great food and great fun, and that the Yavers family’s long and proud relationship with Vinny will continue in good standing,” the Yishers said.
In January, Viny Schnitzels parent company, Vinay’s Pizza Holdings, filed for bankruptcy protection.